Parenthood: A lesson in keeping your feet (firmly) on the ground

Children are the quickest path to humility. Anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that the process of growing a human being comes with an uncanny number of privacy invasions. Let’s just say that no part of a pregnant woman’s anatomy is sacred nor is any part of her daily routine, diet or lifestyle. Being a mother means becoming an open book in every possible sense of the term … whether you want to or not.

After giving birth to my son (and the 71 hours of labor it took to get there) I was pretty certain that all traces of modesty had left me. Then came the first year of motherhood. Wyatt was the little prince of “spit up.” The term “spit up” was no doubt coined by a first-time mother who didn’t want to admit that she was covered in “vomit.”

“I’ve got some spit up on my shirt” sounds much better than “My son just projectile vomited down by back and my boot is now filled with partially digested sweet potatoes.”

Bless the sweet little hearts of folks whose children “spit up.” My child never did. He puked … like a man, and it happened a lot.

Luckily those days passed relatively quickly and although I spent more days than I’d like to admit covering the scent of baby puke with various perfumed lotions, I survived the infant stage with some of my pride still in tact. Wyatt grew to become a darling toddler and a sweet, cherub-cheeked little boy. His favorite television shows are “Team Hot Wheels” and “Max and Ruby” and he delights in “helping” me mix pancake batter and put away the dishes. He is a peach and I am about as blessed a mommy as they come. I am also aware that this little darling is capable of bringing me down to earth with a BANG at any moment without an iota of warning. What do I mean by this? Allow me to elaborate.

Last night was the second meeting of our weekly marriage life group. My husband and I are co-hosting with a lovely couple who are as down to earth as they are generous and fun. We were wrapping up the night and having a fun discussion about kids and life when my little angel hurried up to me with a concerned look on his face. I bent down to him and noticed his cherub-cheeks were stuffed MUCH too full. He was eating an apple, his favorite fruit, and the little doll had gotten carried away. I quietly cupped my hands under his mouth and told him to spit it out. It needed to happen, the last thing I wanted was for him to swallow all of that! At first it was fine — a few nibbles of apple — and then something happened. He heaved. NO! The huge mouthful of apple had triggered his gag reflex and it was coming … there was nowhere to go!

There’s nothing like two hands full of vomit to indicate the evening has come to an end. Our guests gracefully took their exit.


As I rinsed the soap off my hands and watched my guests pull out of the driveway I had to laugh, how’s that for a parting gift? “My husband and I are so glad to have had the pleasure of your company … BLEHHHHHHHHHH!!!” Oh well, maybe I’ll try for hostess of the year some other time.

Wyatt was embarassed. After I cleaned up I found him trying to crawl under his bed to hide.

“I threwed up, momma,” he said sadly.

“I know, son. It’s ok. Everyone gets sick sometimes. Maybe we’ll try to take smaller bites next time, ok?”

“You’re my best friend, mommy.”

Heart = melted.

There are few things like playing quarter back to a bout of apple-induced vomit to remind you what is most important in life. Kids are the quickest path to humility and they are also the greatest gift in life. I’ll take “best friend” over “hostess of the year” any day.


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