We all could use a little more of it.
Our kids are growing up right before our eyes and it makes us painfully aware of how time flies. Don’t get me wrong – I am not one of those people that tells you to “enjoy every moment.” In fact, I hate it when people say that to me. It usually comes from somewhat well meaning people that are of my parents’ generation that know full well it is impossible to enjoy every moment. Why don’t they just high five you and admit that mothering is freakin’ hard and acknowledge that you are doing a pretty fine job regardless? They are probably quietly high five-ing themselves for not being in charge of another human at all times any more, for having raised their children, for having made it out alive.
So, instead of enjoying every moment how about we start by finding joy and create precious memories in completely unexpected moments? Not the kind of memories that involve going to Disneyland or opening presents on Christmas morning or videotaping any of the big “firsts.” Perhaps it’s time to try something different every now and then, maybe something rather simple. You might just get positively surprised. I just did and it brought me such immense happiness I thought I’d share.
Last Friday night I went on a dinner date with my little guy. Him being the second kid he usually gets the short end of the stick when it comes to spending time alone with me so it was a special occasion for both of us. It was not a family dinner, not a play date with other mamas and kiddos, it was not even at a kids’ play place that serves food. We went to a real restaurant with real silverware and a tablecloth, and it was just the two of us sitting outside on the patio. Little guy curled up next to me on a bench. I did not have my phone with me. There was no entertainment, no fighting with his older sister, and no communal bathroom runs. It was just us having a “conversation” about his preschool friends and teachers. At random intervals he giggled and told me “I love you so much, mama” as we were sharing a plate of hummus, toasting each other with wine and milk respectively. It was then that it really struck me – he is not a baby anymore. He is a kid.
Instead of making me sad it made me feel grateful. I felt grateful not only for the peaceful hour we got to spend together but also because I could see us doing this exact same thing in ten, twenty, even thirty years from now. It felt as if I got to see a little glimpse of the man that he will become someday. I got excited about the beautiful things that are to come and that I hope I will get to enjoy with him in the future. And at that moment, all was right in the world. Nowhere else to be. Forgotten my earlier state of annoyance triggered by him throwing yet another terrible twos fit. Forgotten my semi-permanent state of fatigue from him waking up at 2:00AM the last five nights in a row. Toddlers do not hold any grudges. He was just happy to be there at that moment and I was completely humbled by it, and unexpectedly, turned into a pile of mush.
I guess nothing says love quite like sharing a plate of hummus with your two and a half year old son.
Have a great week, mamas! High five for doing a fine job.