Sometimes I get “Alexander.” I feel for him…because I’ve been there.
Haven’t we all?
The other day my three-and-a-half-year-old son came in to wake me up, and I heard him whisper, “I want to snuggle with you mommy.” So sweet right? But as he snuggled in tight, he started to cough, which then quickly turned into vomiting. All over me. Awesome. (First, I rushed him to the bathroom and made sure he was okay…then did five loads of wash).
Then, the doctor suggested my ten-month-old, who has an infection in his diaper region, go diaper-less to give that area time to “breathe.” After a brief “diaper free” time, he had proceeded to both pee and poop on the ground and crawl through it to give me even more of a mess to clean up (I know, I know, I should have seen that coming). The diaper promptly went back on.
Next, we made it to the store to grab a few things for a picturesque picnic at the park. I had it all planned in my mind…me and the boys, birds chirping, sun shining, my kids happily keeping themselves entertained, and everyone doing exactly as they’re told. However, I get to the front of the line and am about to check out when my three-year-old bolts. Out the front door. Oh no… I sit there clueless trying to figure out if I should pay, grab my baby and run, or do I just chase the older one on my own. Thankfully, a nice man nearby offered to watch my baby while I took off for the big kid…fuming. You should have seen his reaction when I told him no picnic in the park. He could have cared less.
Some days are tougher than others. Some days our kids push boundaries, push our buttons, or if you’re my kid, literally push other kids. (“Seriously…you cannot wrestle your ten-month-old brother.”)
But then I run into a mom of older children, or an empty-nester, who casually says, “These are the best years, they go by so fast.” Or I see a sappy Facebook post, or THIS song (I mean bring on the waterworks) and I am reminded that I will blink, and my kids will be gone. I’m sure we have all heard the saying, “Long days, short years,” but it is so true.
Recently, visiting my mom, she talked about how when she was a young mother, an older woman gave her the same advice. “Enjoy it,” she had said, “because before you know it, your house will be quiet, so quiet in fact that you will be able to hear the clock tick.” My mom choked up as she admitted she now hears that ticking.
So if you see me, harried, looking a little disheveled, if you see me having an “Alexander” day, remind me. Remind me how fast it goes.
And maybe to stock up on wine.