How heavy a baby is.

How that tiny, new human being can cripple a back with endless nights of swaying and leaning and crouching over a crib to listen to her breathe. They could have mentioned the ache you’d feel at the pit of your heart when she smiles or burps or rolls over.

Perhaps they could have prepared us better for what tired feels like. Not just, “a nap sure would be nice” tired, but the kind of “I can’t remember if I brushed my teeth this morning, I’m so tired I could fall asleep in the carpool lane if I’m not careful” tired.

They might have mentioned that we’d be able to sleep through a hail storm but be out of bed before we’re even awake when a child coughs or sighs or cries for his favorite toy.

They could have told us we’d wake up one morning to discover we’d become someone’s super hero.

Our parents should have painted the picture of what a meal of BBQ ribs will do to a carpet when shared with small and enthusiastic boys. Or how hard mud is to remove from a rug or how wet, food colored flour can set to the consistency of cement if it’s not washed away immediately.

Perhaps they might have whispered about the ocean of vulnerability we’d be swimming out into when we had kids. How before we knew it we’d be left gasping for air on the days when someone gets hurt. And how many nights we’d spend pleading with God for wisdom, for patience, for strength.

They might have done it, if they thought we’d believe it. They might have packaged up so much truth and hand delivered it if only they didn’t already know it had to be earned.

Because earn it you do.

Every hard mile of parenting is hard won. And desperately worth it.

So tell me, what did I forget?
What else could our parents have told us if only we weren’t too inexperienced to believe them?

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