No one ever told me that because I'm a mother, I'd find myself playing Twister at eight in the morning at my children's invitation.
Or, that I'd find a trail of toilet paper leading from the bathroom, through the dining room, down the hallway, and into the kitchen.
Or, that the child holding the end of the toilet paper would be so pleased with herself -- foot-stamping, belly-laughing pleased with herself -- that I'd be unable to maintain an entirely straight face while I explained that we don't unravel entire rolls of toilet paper for entertainment.
Or, that I'd spend three minutes rewinding that toilet paper back onto the roll because it made me feel that I still have some control of my environment.
Or, that in a child's world, lipstick is synonymous with marker.
Or, that I'd memorize dozens of board books down the the exact cadence of each sentence and inflection of each word so I wouldn't even need to look at the pages to read them aloud.
Or, that I'd come face-to-face with my own impatience so frequently.
Or, that I'd never be able to get enough of nuzzling my face into crook of their baby necks so I could breathe their scent.
Or, that I'd face regular questions for which I had no answers. Like, when we're driving and my four-year-old points to a random car as it passes and asks, "Who is that? Where were they? Where are they going?" Or, when my seven-year-old asks, "Why don't all kids have a nice daddy?"
Or, that I could ever be so tired.
Or, that I could ever feel so alive.
Or, that I'd want to thank my own parents so wholeheartedly for not prematurely ending my life when I whined for the vast duration of a road trip from Raleigh to Pittsburgh while I was in elementary school. And for handling me delicately during middle school. And for really listening to me when I was in high school -- and for still listening to me now.
Or, that I'd be exposed to bodily fluids so frequently.
Or, that I'd do it all again in a heartbeat, even the rough patches, because my children are refining me and making me better day by day.
No one ever tells you that your children will undo you entirely in the worst and best of ways, or that it's possible to be equally thankful for their bedtime at night and awestruck by their faces in the morning.
People may tell you how wonderful it is when your child first grips your hand, but it may take a lifetime to ponder how God uses these children to grip our hearts.