When The Kids Were Little *
Think of all the times you’ve heard someone start a story with the words, “When the kids were little…”
I can hear those words repeating in my head. I’ve heard them from my grandmother, from my mother, and really, from most people I have conversed with who have children. There just seem to be so many memorable moments attached to that period of time, when our kids are young.
Last night, I made no less than 300 trips around our kitchen table with colicky little Kara in my arms. Do you want to know where 300 trips around the kitchen table gets you? Nowhere — fast. It did, however, calm her crying for a brief period of time, giving Evan an opening to whine for a drink of water for 10 minutes straight. It makes it nice when he can do his complaining without having to compete with the baby’s screams.
Yesterday was probably up there in the top 5 most stressful days as a parent that I have experienced, which makes me cringe at myself a little, since the only real problems were pretty insignificant in the scheme of life.
In fact, complaining about my healthy, happy, beautiful children in any capacity makes me feel like kicking myself in the teeth on one hand. On the other hand, yeah, I was on the verge of a mini-breakdown by the time my husband came home from work.
So, I keep hearing this phrase, “When the kids were little.” I hear it whispered softly in the back of my mind, and then I see myself twenty years from now, with a look of longing on my face, beginning a story with, “When the kids were little…”
I live a life filled with joy, tears, love, frustration, laughter and struggle. It is all of those things, and I can never be sure what tomorrow will bring. Motherhood is unpredictable, but one thing never changes. I love my kids. I love them so big and so strong that I am surprised they are not crushed by the weight of that love. Even when I want to run out of my house screaming, I still love them.
I know that these are the days that will occupy a hug part of my memories forever. I will look back on my life, and these days, when the kids are little, will be days that I ache for. I can already feel that ache, and the kids haven’t even grown up.
When you have a baby, the fast forward button on the remote of your life is superglued, duct taped, and nailed down. It is happening — fast.
Feel it. See it. Breathe it. Remember it.