I watched a kid pull a long wet booger out of her nose this morning and proceed to stick it in her mouth and eat it. I honestly felt sick. Recounting this right now is making me a little queasy. But, I'm guessing that if my kid was the one who did this, I would probably laugh a little; maybe scold him for poor manners, but I doubt I would feel the wave of nausea I felt this morning. What is it about motherhood that makes us love our own kids no matter what?
I think I may have mentioned before that I'm not a crazy kid person. However, I really like my own gross kids. They're boys: they're dirty, sweaty, and they often don't smell that great, but I love them. Last week in Target I noticed a horrible smell filling the whole aisle we were in. When looking around to try to find the source, my eyes met my 3 year old's. He smiled and said in his little voice, "Excuse me." I had to smile; at least he is polite. But I doubt another parent would have thought he was so cute at that moment. And I know if he wasn't my own kid, I would want to get far away from him.
But that's the thing about a mother's love. I still see my kids through the same loving eyes no matter if they just stepped out of the bathtub smelling like soap or off of the soccer field smelling like sweaty feet. I guess that's unconditional love? It must be a little trick human nature plays on us to make sure that we're always there for our kids; to see them through childhood until they can fend for themselves. It enables us to deal with the diaper changes and the potty training; to not want to run when our kids our yelling from the bathroom that they need their butt wiped. And it ensures we soldier on through the puke and snot to care for our kids when they are sick, doing what ever it takes to comfort them until they are better. Its easy to love them when they are cute, clean, and well behaved. But we can't just love them part of the time; they need us all of the time.