Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Friday, September 7, 2007

Which is more fun: going to college or raising toddlers?

During our trip to Utah, we actually got to do a couple NON-FAMILY-REUNION-RELATED things that I really wanted to do.

First was go visit BYU campus. Of COURSE we went to the bookstore to buy Cougar paraphenalia we can wear during the football games they broadcast out here on the East Coast. We saw the library from the inside (picture below). (I had only seen the sky lights sticking up from the ground a few years ago, but not been inside.) The second picture is us in the atrium of the new Smith Family Living Center. I had a lot of classes in that old building. It looks like an AMAZING replacement. The third picture is Chris with Brigham because he regrets not being able to walk & get his diploma when he graduated from the Y, and get the famous cap and gown photo in front of Brigham.

As I was walking around BYU, I realized how much I love the place. A while back Eli asked me if college was fun. I thought it was a pretty mature question for a 4 year old. But it got me thinking, "Heck, yeah!!!" College was so much fun, I can't even fit the emotion into a sentence. Being independent, learning, playing, cheering for your college's sports teams, spiritual growth, dating... I want to go back in time and lecture my college-aged self for all those pity parties during hard moments. I should have been 100% blissful 100% of the time.

A friend of mine that occasionally babysits Eli & Mia during the day raised 7 kids, but didn't get to go to college. Her daughters were headed back to BYU and I said "Tell them to enjoy it! Those will be some of the funnest years of their lives." She said, "Really? You thought so? Funner than being a mom of small kids?" I looked at her like she had 4 noses and tried to discern if she was kidding. She wasn't!! Ummm... maybe there are ways I can discover to enjoy this stage of my life a little more, but that would be a big "YES." College was a lot funner than trying to raise toddlers. Anyone want to disagree with me here?


Shelly Astle said...

I agree with you Natalie. I have enjoyed so many aspects of my life - living on my own here in DC, being a newlywed, a new mom, expecting a 2nd child etc, but nothing compares to the wonderful four years I spent at BYU. There's something special about being on your own for the first time, tackling new challenges and fears, and BYU was the best place for me to do that. It really was, in many ways, the best time of my life.

Angie said...

I came across this list and thought of you:
20 Ways Parenthood Is Just Like College:
1. You feel like you’re constantly being tested.
2. Someone’s always smarter than you (or at least thinks they are).
3. Your roommates are messy, and they eat all your food.
4. All nighters.
5. You get kicked out of the library for leaving behind crumbs and creating a ruckus.
6. Dorm parties and toddler birthday parties produce the same kind of hangovers.
7. You never seem to be able to get the place to yourself.
8. Naps. (Or lack of..)
9. People talk to you while you’re in the shower.
10. You are tired of your roommates’ music, and they are tired of yours.
11. You can neither identify nor locate the source of that funky smell.
12. There’s not enough $$$ in your bank account.
13. Five in the morning is really, really early—or really, really late—depending on whether or not you’ve been to bed yet.
14. Hey! How about pizza? Again!
15. You’re too exhausted to retain what you’re reading.
16. Oh, now you can identify that smell! You forgot to take that sandwich out of your bag.
17. You’re wearing the same thing again today because it’s the cleanest thing you could find.
18. You can't stop thinking about the cute kid next to you.
19. You think you’re the only one who feels clueless.
20. It goes by so fast.

I don't know if college was necessarily "funner" than raising kids. They're both tons of work. What do you have to show for college? An education and a diploma. And for raising kids? Blessings, blessings, and blessings in the eternities. I know how hard it can be, believe me. Hang in there:) It'll be worth it.

Natalie C. said...

Angie, that list is too, too, too funny. Thanks for sharing it. :)