Monday, July 27, 2009

What I'll Miss

In an effort to really "soak up" every moment with my children this summer, I have made a specific effort to mentally take in every situation--good and bad--hoping I won't look back one day and wish I had lived in the moment more. Without realizing it, I found myself mentally categorizing every scenario, task, and experience into two different groups: "What I'll Miss," and "What I Won't Miss" about mothering young children. Here are a few things I came up with.

Things I Will Miss:

Holding a sleeping child
Watching a sleeping child (they are so innocent and sweet when they're asleep)
That a trip to the park makes their whole day
That I can tickle a smile out of a grumpy child
That a kiss makes everything better
Speaking of kisses--an endless supply of hugs and kisses available at any time (only works with little kids)
Tiny arms wrapped tightly around my neck
Kids on my lap, snuggling and reading a story together
Uninhibited singing by my little ones
Everyone waking up with a smile
Small expectations (pb&j for lunch every day, mac & cheese if we really splurge)

Things I Won't Miss:

Fruit snack wrappers
Car seats
Sippy Cups
Potty Training
6:00 a.m. wake up calls (which consist of my two-year-old asking for a movie and chocolate milk)
Screaming fits
Shutting the front door at least 15 times a day because a child has gone in or out and left it open

I sat in my kitchen the other night chuckling under my breath. My husband and I were working together to get dinner ready, trying to have a conversation, while the rest of the house held total chaos. Kids were screaming, crying, whining, pounding on doors, and more. If I hadn't known better, I would have thought I had more than four kids! As I strained again to hear what my husband was saying, a picture passed through my mind of what our home must look like to an outsider, and I couldn't suppress a small giggle (I've come a long way--it's usually tears I can't suppress). Just then, a thought ran through my mind, adding another bullet to my "won't miss" list.

I'm sure not going to miss this when the kids are grown and gone.

But as soon as I thought it, I immediately regretted it, because the truth is, I think I'll miss pretty much everything about my children being home--even the chaos. I can totally picture in my mind the day I get up to a quiet home, do my daily routine without interruption or noise, and go to bed with the same deafening silence (excepting small talk with my sweetheart, of course). And I'm willing to bet there will be days when I wish I could go back to a simpler, louder, crazier time, because something tells me that even though there are many days I want to run away and hide, the truth is, when it's all said and done, I have a feeling I'll look back on these days and think they were the best days of my life.

So, for now, I think I'll condense my lists into one big one: "What I'll Miss." That way, if I do ever find myself missing this stage of life, I can read my list and find comfort in the fact that at least I didn't take it for granted.

Well, better go--the front door is open again!:)


Melanie said...

I had a RS pres once that said she would love to again walk the halls with a sleepless baby. I thought she might be a little crazy at the time but I do agree.

Becky said...

I am trying to let it all sink in since they grow so fast. I am sure those days of craziness are only going to get worse for me, but I will try not to wish it away.

Julie Summerhays said...

Finally this year I think I am going to miss more than I won't miss. I don't know if it is my kids ages or what - BTW - thanks for always making me a little teary with your great posts:)