The Kind of Hope That Floats

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It is a myth that parents enjoy every single moment that they are afforded with their children. Personally, my breaking point each day is bath time.

Piles of stories have been read.                                                                                                             Balanced meals have been eaten and, mostly, not thrown at Mom.                                               And, somehow, I have been able to hold it together.

Just when I feel like a victor, my husband runs the bathwater.

Do you hear that?

Yes, it is my soul…crying from fatigue.

I don’t know about you, but this current pre-election season has left me equally unmotivated. After the latest primary results, I no longer want to follow debates, candidates, or policy. In many ways it feels like the machine has chewed us all up only to promptly spit us out. I can tell you that I witness this process at least three times a day with my infant daughter, and the outcome isn’t pretty.

But I am a parent, and I have this most annoying conviction to refrain from burying my head in the sand. I want the future to be better for my children, and I want to model for two little people how to live each day with hope.

So how can a parent find peace in the hostile political climate? How can we know that a bright future will await our children?

The truth is, we are only given days. We understand this when our children are born, but somewhere in the neverending battle of repetition and exhaustion, we forget about the goodness hidden in the corners of our everyday moments. The real hope, I would argue, is that our children see it, experience it, and hold onto it.

My son reminded me of this two days ago. Bath time was upon us, and I had just laid my daughter in the shallow water.

“Here, Mommy,” my son cried with excitement. “I bathe her, Mommy!” And just like that, my son grabbed a clean washcloth and carefully lathered and scrubbed his baby sister – with a messy, yet beautiful toddler tenderness – for the very first time.

With every splash and giggle, his actions seemed to say: Mom, you will worry, but I am watching you, and I will make you proud.

Parents aren’t supposed to have all the answers. Certainly no politician does. But I think we should be encouraged that even when we fail to see the light, if we do it right, our children will be there to inspire a way through the darkness.

Rubber ducky optional.

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