Mark and I watched Cheaper By The Dozen last night - the one with Steve Martin. Yes, you read correctly, so stop with the judgey eyes. In case you aren't aware, Cheaper By The Dozen is a family comedy about a family with (you guessed it) twelve children and the hilarity that ensues. It is loosely based on a novel by Frank & Ernestine Gilbreth, and by "loosely" I mean the title and premise of twelve children are the same. Mark was the one who suggested it, but I quickly jumped on the band wagon due to the fact that Steve Martin is easily one of the greatest comedians of all time and I love Bonnie Hunt.
Also, unbeknownst to me, the film features Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, Hillary Duff, Alyson Stoner, Alan Ruck, Ashton Kutcher, and a plethora of other actors and actresses your jaw drops for as you realize how young everyone is - with the exception of Steve Martin who hasn't aged since The Jerk in 1979. It was crazy to see the 2003 versions of everyone, but mostly? It was crazy to see how my ability to identify with characters has changed. In 2003? I was one Sarah Baker; tomboy, prankster, and general leader of mischief. Now? I am Kate. When did I become Bonnie Hunt?
I'm not complaining, it's just kind of a wonder... to watch a movie years later and feel more like the parent than one of the kids. Am I a grown up now? Because I certainly don't feel like a grown up. I still have a toe ring and prefer black nail polish. I swear regularly and forget to brush my teeth sometimes. I mean, I'm married and we have a bank account. But some times we forget to budget and Mark and I have misunderstanding all the time. I shop at Goodwill and do Bountiful Baskets, but I also buy pleather bomber jackets and make pie plate cookies (which is one big cookie baked in a pie plate or cast iron pan). I couldn't be grown up - could I?
Life with Rory is often hard. There are nights when we haven't slept and spend hours rocking a very tearful little boy and tears run down our own faces. There are days when we just want two minutes alone. There are weeks when a shower is a blessed thing we see maybe twice. And there are months where the sink is never empty and the floors are never clean.
Marriage is often hard. Mark and I aren't fighters so we pull away when we are hurt which just leads to more hurt and more pulling away. Sometimes we don't really see one another all week due to conflicting work schedules. And money is always a strain even on the most affluent of people.
I may or may not be grown up, but I am certainly a parent now. And not just because I have a child. I watch Cheaper By The Dozen and see a beautiful marriage with ups and downs, parenting realities in love, and a house full of children I covet. Yes. I covet a messy, full household with twelve children. I like that they talk about always having to wear hand-me-downs and that twelve is the number of times they max out their bank account in a year to make ends meet. They don't portray life with twelve kids as easy and neat, they showcase it as incredibly hectic. But I want it.
Mark thinks twelve is probably too many - at least to have all at once. And he's probably right, he is certainly the more realistic of the two of us. But I find myself looking forward to this. I like being exhausted in the way that children exhaust. I like the growth it forces from me. I like the laughter and the head shaking. I like the honesty that being a mom has given me. So, maybe not twelve, but who knows? A Dullanty Dozen has a nice ring to it...