Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

Motherhood is fun because kids are — Baumgartner Vaughan

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan
Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

When my son was in kindergarten, I volunteered to help out during lunch one day because kids that age still need help opening their cartons of milk.

A school cafeteria is quite the experience. It was fun. There are universal truths to learn like there’s always one kid who drinks the strawberry milk, and that there are never enough ketchup packets, and kids can become spontaneously messy and dirty within seconds.

My son is finishing up third grade now, and this age group has long since learned to open their own milk cartons, but their questions range from intellectual to hilarious and sometimes both. I’ve also found myself saying things as a parent that I can’t imagine uttering in any other circumstance. When I’m volunteering at school I also hear stuff from kids that makes me laugh. I can only imagine the humor that teachers hear on a daily basis.

Two minutes after meeting a kid, she asked:

“Do you dye your hair? Because my mom does.”

I answered truthfully. “Sometimes.”

Elementary kids, on parenthood:

“Being in your 40s you have your kids around but then in your 50s they leave you.”

Well, more or less.

Being around children, as a parent or otherwise, makes you examine the ways of the world because it comes up regularly. It also makes you say things like:

“Get your hands out of your mouth.”

“Stop messing around.”

“Why is this in your pocket?”

“Tie your shoes.”

“Tie your shoes.”

“Tie your shoes.”

Really, children’s shoelaces are made of spaghetti and do not stay tied, even double knotted. This is a universal truth, as I’ve started noticing the epidemic of untied shoes did not start with my child.

On the other hand, how much fun and busy a day are you having if your shoelaces come untied every afternoon? Or living a life that includes putting random things in your pockets that you find on the playground?

I love being a mom to my kid. I love being around other kids, too, answering their questions, asking them questions and seeing life through a different lens. As a journalist, I try to put myself in the place of seeing things from all angles, and children are a delightful provider of that as well.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and all those who mother. May our time with children help us to ask and answer life’s questions, learn universal truths, and laugh a lot, too.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: 919-419-6563, @dawnbvaughan