I Salute You

Jennifer Bosse essays

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I sent my husband a photo of poop earlier. More precisely, a picture of my son’s poop smeared all over his room. I discovered the poop upon suspiciously hearing furniture being moved across the tile floor while he was supposed to be napping. I opened the door with a pit in my stomach, muttering, “Please don't let it be poop. Please, don’t let it be what I think it is.”

We’ve been down this road a few times before and it isn't pretty. Despite my pleas, it was indeed what I was scared of and was just as gruesome a scene as in prior incidents. I just stood there, momentarily transfixed, by the sight surrounding my precious, tarnished toddler and thought, “What the fuck?” Pardon the language, but seriously, what the fuck? So I hauled Landon to the shower, donned my latex gloves, grabbed the cleaning tools and trash bag and set to work. Ryland began wailing from his seat in the viewing area while I crawled around on all fours, cringing, scrubbing and trying not to breathe through my nose.

As I worked, I began to cry. It was the icing on the cake of an already challenging day. I thought to myself, I didn't sign up for this. No where in the contract of motherhood did I see a clause for crawling around on all fours while scrubbing my son's poop off of the floor. How did I miss it? Where was it hidden? Was it somewhere between singing the alphabet a thousand times and lecturing him on road crossing safety? Someone please break out the agreement and show it to me, because I don't recall agreeing to this.

But of course I did. The moment I decided that I was ready to be a mother, I accepted every term and condition applicable under caring, loving, cleaning and protecting another human being. I would do anything for my children. Anything-including duties that involve cleaning poop off the floor. I am not invincible, however. I do have limits and tolerances-you know those pesky things that make me human. When I say I'm having a hard parenting day, I'm not entering into a competition. This isn't “my day has been so much harder than your day” or anything else of the sort. I know others are facing challenges that I cannot even comprehend.

Don't believe for even a second that I haven't thought of you in your challenging situation and said to myself, “Well, you have it so much easier than x-y-z.” I have and I did and I do. Although, it often feels as if everyone is in a constant, “I have it better or I have it worse than you,” game of one-ups-man ship. Quite frankly, I don't care for the pettiness.

At the end of the day, despite whatever we’re struggling with or triumphing over, we are all in it together. Wouldn't it be so much easier on everyone if we just supported each other on equal ground rather than try to “win” a nonexistent prize? I have really, really good days and I have some really, really awful days. And everything in between. I'm not too scared to admit it.

So here I am, standing from my mountaintop, giving you a long- distance “We’ve got this!”

To anyone dealing with a child who is ill-I salute you!

To anyone forging a new path with a disabled loved one-I salute you!

To anyone struggling with infertility-I salute you!

To anyone with a circus of children who is ready for bedtime-I salute you!

To anyone who is tired of the, “When are you having children?” interrogation-I salute you!

To all parents, to no parents, to young and old alike; To anyone and everyone who is having a hard parenting day, in a crappy job, working out relationship, family and self issues-I salute you!

To all of you that are having a fabulous day today-Get lost. Ha!

Just kidding! I salute you!

And especially to anyone out there who is unsuspectingly reading this while your toddler is downstairs smearing their room with unmentionables-I salute you and good luck.

About the Author

Jennifer Bosse

Jennifer is a freelance writer living in Kansas City. She was first syndicated through BlogHer, but also writes for KC Parent & KC Baby Magazines. When she's not writing for others, she's blogging for herself over at . There, she writes about the winding journey of life and being the ringleader of her family circus.

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