A few weeks ago, I was talking with a friend who does not have children and I said something that made her laugh. I don't remember what it was but knowing me, it was probably some snarky comment about kids or parenthood or something related to how much kids and parenthood suck because she said,

"That's what I like about you. You don't make having kids seem like magic bells and butterflies all the time."

Me: "Well, some people would argue that it IS magic bells and butterflies and I'm just misinformed."

*laughs* "You know what I mean. I don't have kids and even I can see that it's hard. But looking around at most Moms I know, they're all trying to make out like life has become perfect just because they spawned."

Me: "Well, I'll never say I'm sorry I had my kids. I'd say overall my life is better WITH my kids. It's just that having kids brings on all sorts of different problems... so it's only like... an inch better."

It's funny because it's true.

So this is for that friend. Because in that inch, here's the kind of stuff you get to do to with them:

Put them in giant hamster balls and float them out over a pool of water.
(They remind me of their Christmas ornaments this year.

When we were at the mall to see Santa, we walked past this... kiosk... for lack of a better term. We thought $10 for ten minutes was a little bit steep, but it was something they'd never done before and I'm all for new experiences. Plus it was Christmas Eve and they were all dressed up. That's pretty much the hat trick of reasons to do something expensive. They weren't in the balls for thirty seconds before The KoH and I looked at each other and simultaneously declared:

"TOTALLY worth it!"

We were the first customers of the day and there wasn't a line so the guy running it let them stay in there another twenty minutes after their time was up. (See what I mean about getting there early?) Thanks, Awesome Hamster Ball Guy, because this is my favorite Christmas memory this season... maybe of all time.

This is what lives in that extra inch of good. These moments where you laugh yourself silly because of nothing. Where you do things you would never have had the courage to do if you couldn't pawn it off on the idea that "it's for the kids." Where you just get to forget the world for a few minutes and see things through their eyes.

When weighed against the bad of the sleepless nights, the crowded beds, the tantrums and time outs, that inch is just a little bit better... and totally worth it.