“You’re going to miss this someday, when they’re all grown up.” Ever received a well-intentioned comment like this? I used to roll my eyes and brush it off. Lady, you have no idea what kind of day I’ve had. I’ve been puked on, peed on, dealt with a temper tantrum at the grocery store, and found out the hubs is working out of town all next week. I am N O T going to miss this.
This is me eating crow.
I had an interesting conversation with my mother-in-law when she made this same comment to me over Christmas. It wasn’t the first time this has been said to me, it certainly wasn’t the first time she’d said it to me. I was about to brush it off – sure sure – whatever, but I paused and thought about it.
I do miss having little ones in the house. I miss the wet kisses, the spontaneous hugs, dressing them up, cuddling on the couch with a book, rocking them to sleep in my arms, telling bedtime stories, the excitement of first smiles, first steps, first-everythings. And most of all, I miss their absolute whole-body-joy when I’d pick them up from Kindergarten. They’d run straight at me, leap into my arms, and hug me as though we’d been apart for a week instead of three hours.
I laughed and shared that thought with my m-i-l.
She said (I’m paraphrasing because I didn’t write it down): “Well, we tend to forget how hard it was and just remember the good parts. Life is like that.”
Having a wise m-i-l is a double-edged sword – I’m warning you!
My mom gave me an iTunes gift card for Christmas. I love gift-cards. It’s double the gift – you get the gift AND you get to go shopping. Anyway, I love music so I’ve had fun buying a bunch of the songs I was too cheap to buy previously – older songs.
I found this song by Phil Vassar – Just Another Day in Paradise. I had it on a cassette back in the day – you know when you’d wait for a particular song to come on the radio and you’d run to the tape player and press record. lol Forgot how much I loved this song – long before I had a family of my own.
“Kids screaming, phone ringing, dog barking at the mailman bringing
that stack of bills – overdue. Good morning baby, how are you?…
Well, it’s OK…It’s just another day in paradise. There’s no place that
I’d rather be.”
I also found this song by Lonestar – My Front Porch Looking In.
“I see what beautiful is about when I’m looking in not when I’m looking out.”
If I had the chance to go back and relive those days, I’d spend less time rushing them to grow up and be more independent. I’d stop and study that caterpillar on the sidewalk, read just one more book, laugh more. I’d spend a lot less time looking out feeling like life was passing me by.
When you remember only the good things, you forget how much you did just to survive. Having little ones is tough, and I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, but time does sweeten the memory. These songs and that conversation have reinforced my intention to live in the moment more with my kids. There’s a time to laugh and a time to dance.
It’s easy to know what we’d do in hindsight, but if you could go back and relive some time in your life, what lesson that you’ve since learned would you want to remember? Would knowing that truth change anything?
Been told you should learn Deep Point Of View? Had an editor or critique partner tell you to “go deeper” with the emotions in your fiction? Looking for a community of writers seeking to create emotional connections with readers? Check out the Free Resource Hub and then join the Going Deeper With Emotions In Fiction Facebook group.