As I watch the pained expression on my husband’s face as he graciously allows our one-year-old daughter to bludgeon his head with a hairbrush as she attempts to neaten his hair, I cannot help but chuckle as I reflect on the number of pains parents put up with.
It all starts with labour – a necessary pain with a worthwhile result. It sets the tone for the rest of a parent’s life.
During toddler years we allow ourselves to be multifunction as a jungle-gym, a trampoline and my personal favourite… a makeup mannequin. All of the above involve some level of battery but anything for a smile, right?
I have clear memories (and long since healed bruises) of my daughter using me as a landing mat after fearlessly launching herself off the couch and assuming that my person was a safe place to fall – luckily it was. And the number of times I have been poked in the eye by a wayward eye shadow brush; too numerous to count.
And then our babies grow up.
They stay out late, forget to tell us they love us and would rather spend time with an iPad than in conversation with old mum or dad.
Then they leave home, start their own lives, their own families, have their own kids – and perhaps realise that they took us for granted a lot of the time.
The pain a parent endures, whether physical or emotional, is precious pain; it’s something that we would do all over again even if we knew beforehand how much it would hurt.
…because that’s what love is.