The setting: I’m laying in floor of the kid cubby house at the dentist office while my nine-year-old daughter peacefully naps. Her face is turned toward mine. She’s holding her favorite blanket and stuffed Unicorn. There’s a movie on the television. But, the volume is blissfully low (I mean, how many Disney movies can a mom watch, am I right?).
The feeling: Utter peace. Bliss. Joy. Pride. Don’t really want it to end.
The reality: This is my third child. My last. My ‘baby.’ The oldest will be twenty in 12 short days. So, yea. I’ve done this rodeo more than once. Rarely, though, did I just lay on the floor like that and soak it in. So what was different this time? This child. This child loves to be held. Hates to be alone. Loves being close to her people. And she’s my baby. And this won’t last…
Where you think this story is going: Hold on. Cherish these moments. They grow up fast. You’re going to miss this…blah blah blah, right? been there, heard that…
What I actually came here to say: It’s not about you. Not even for a second. Does that mean you’re selfish for wanting a moment for yourself? Or for allowing yourself pleasures or nice things, or trips…or a cup of coffee? Nope. Not at all. What’s the point of all of it if we can’t enjoy it? Enjoy it. But remember this:
When that person (usually QUITE a bit more mature (read OLDER) than you says, ‘you’re going to miss this…’, and you want to scream at them to SHUT UP – it’s not about you. Or your children. Or your memories. I know. It gets old hearing the same thing all the time….I know. I get it.
So, if it’s not about you and making sure you cherish every blissful (insert expletive) moment…then WHAT???????
Maybe. Maybe…that person saw something of themselves in you. Maybe…they saw something of their children in yours. And just, you know…had a moment. Maybe it’s about them…maybe you can stop screaming inside your head for a minute…and see that moment for what it could be…an opportunity to distract yourself with conversation with another adult…an adult who has been there and maybe could benefit from that conversation as much as you could…here’s how the conversation COULD go…if you let it…
NOSY ONLOOKER: ‘You’re going to miss this…’
FRAZZLED YOU: ‘mmmm…I try to remember that.’ (while cursing them out inside your head…)
NOSY ONLOOKER: ‘I never thought I would and yet here I am.’
FRAZZLED YOU: (takes a deep, deep breath… and then another one…and maybe even a third if you have to) How old are yours?
ONLOOKER: All grown…25, 28, and 30.
YOU: Oh, my! You must have had your hands full! Do they live nearby?
KIND STRANGER: One does…the other two moved up North.
CALMER YOU: I bet you miss them…
And so the conversation begins…and, eventually…because you’re likely sitting in a waiting room or standing in line somewhere, ends…with both of you leaving feeling a little less frazzled, a little less alone in your struggles…the onlooker a little reminiscent…you a little calmer…. And, dare I even suggest it? You are both actually smiling.
I didn’t take a picture of my daughter’s face looking up at mine that day at the dentist office…but the image is trapped in my head, because I glued it there…along with many, many other other sweet images and memories of my children…that I sometimes want to sell to the next band of traveling gypsies that passes by (disclaimer…no, my children or not for sale or trade…so don’t ask…)…but that I will always cherish…
And may I teach them that sometimes a fleeting moment of patience and kindness with a stranger is sometimes more important than whatever screaming is going on inside my head.
Take some pictures. And miss some. But always remember to look at things outside of yourself and your current situation. I assure, you won’t be sorry.
Thanks for visiting…enjoy life, and the ride it takes you on…