I have a memory, a little bubble that hasn’t popped into the fog yet… It was mid-summer and I was heavily pregnant with Byron. The day was hot and sticky, Solana was 3.5 yrs old, Tas around 18 months…
….It has been a long day. Two playdates that lasted hours, a picnic lunch in the park, ice-cream, and an afternoon swim. I have carted around kids, toys, blankets, towels, and bags. I have dried tears, cleaned messy faces, had sand toys thrown in my face, changed multiple nappies and as we head home I’m wondering what I can piece together for dinner. This is when the tears start rolling from the back seat… Solana has realized that we are heading HOME!! There is hysteria, followed by whining (about how we never do anything fun). I was dumbfounded and something snapped inside me… “How can you not appreciate all that I do for you? We haven’t been home since the sun came up this morning!” my voiced is raised as I pull over to drown myself in some hormonal, exhausted, pity tears of my own… As the sun sinks we manage to make it home, our tears have all dried up and as we pulled in the drive Solana says to me: “Mommy are you still going to say Home Sweet Home?”.
These are the days… the days of joy, tears, sweet beginnings and ends. The days of sandy kisses, chocolate stains, and spontaneous dancing.
I was inspired to sit down and write this after reading a mother’s personal post (How a Stranger’s Comment Changed the Way I Parent) last week. It’s interesting how thoughts and words spread and can affect us in such a raw way… Just another example of how we are all connected and can make an impact on any given stranger in this big little world.
The post ignited a feeling I’ve had for awhile now… when I become a parent I was constantly told how quick it all goes. Close your eyes, blink, and your kids are all grown up and out of the house! I’m pretty good at living in the moment but the trouble is I can’t slow down time. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work!! I’ve asked the kids to stop growing and they look at me innocently and say: “But Mumma, I don’t know how to stop growin!”. I can hold my babies a little tighter and snap photos to keep the memories alive but in a way the photo memories make me sad in seeing how fast it is all going.
Maybe because we are done having babies, it is natural to feel the way I do… My kids are all under 8 years old and we still have many years of fun ahead of us but I already want to go back. I want those sleepless nights, the figuring out parenthood, the endless days of breastfeeding when you think you actually might be a cow, those dance parties in feet jammies as your just-walking-toddler shakes his little bum around.
So these are indeed the days. I won’t be sad and I will dance the dance because there is no use in worrying about something you can’t control. One day Tom and I will be the couple at the beach watching the scene that Lauren Turner describes in her post. Tom will say to me: “Look Suz, those were the days.” And I will smile and remember the days we got caught in the rain completely unprepared. The days of sand in our house, our car, the beds. The tears and meltdowns. The chaotic days when I dragged the kids to two play dates, to the lake or the beach and did three messy crafts, and somehow they still expected more. The baking projects that ended with flour all over the kitchen floor and egg splattered up the walls. And of course the sweet kisses and belly laughter, oh yes the belly laughter… these are the days!