(Written 2/6/97 when I only had two littles)
I am a mother who has been blessed beyond belief, so why am I complaining? It has just been one of those days. Those long, long, days. It’s 5:30 p.m. and I am still in my robe sitting with my two kids under two (and under foot and anywhere else they can fit for that matter.) Where has the time in this day gone? Soon my husband will be home asking that dreaded (does he really want the answer?) spousal question….”Honey, What did you do today?”
Well, I’ve been barfed on, pooped and peed on, played on, hung on, and clung on. I’ve picked up, put down, washed this and that…and that again. I’ve read, sung, swung and swaddled. I’ve collected, rejected and disinfected. What did I do today???
I was lamenting to an older friend about the small things I’ve missed since having children. You know, the spare time, spare money and spare car. Simple things like only having 3 loads of laundry per week, biweekly visits to the grocery and only have to run the dishwasher once a week. Oh! Those were the days.
I was even petty enough to mention that I missed “sweeper tracks”. You know those nice, neat Hoover patterns, that before kids, could last hours, even days in seldom used rooms. Those tracks that represent cleanliness and order. I complained that I couldn’t remember the last time my carpet retained sweeper tracks for more than 30 seconds. They are quickly replaced by tiny footprints, cracker crumbs, raisins and tire tracks from a myriad of toy wheels.
After a brief pause my wise friend reminded me that all too soon I’ll be staring at Hoover patterns that would make the greens keeper at Pebble Beach green with envy. Sweeper tracks that will last for days and I’ll long to see those tiny foot prints and caravan of wheel marks. I’ll have my spare time, my spare money and my spare car, but I won’t have these little people.
Sometimes it takes a different perspective to help you savor the moment – even the unpleasant ones. As I slather on the 30th coat of Desitin today, I realize my answer to the spousal question will be, “A lot of cool stuff. I had a great day.” For all too soon I might be answering, “Nothing Much”. I am thankful for these little people, thankful for my Hoover and thankful for friends that help me see the whole picture.
That was 19 years ago. The Hoover replaced by a Shark. I can’t remember the last time I stepped on a lego or moved a matchbox car or bought cheerios. That friend was wise and I’m glad I heeded her advice. I did enjoy those years. Today, I do have some spare time, and a spare car….still waiting on the spare cash…perhaps AFTER they are through college. I do have sweeper tracks, but I don’t have the little people (only a 15 year old remains). I miss the days when a kiss and a lollipop could fix just about anything. I’m not complaining…this season isn’t bad at all it is just different. I am proud of all that my kids accomplished and I am glad I soaked in those times and memories.
From someone whose lived it, can I share some advice? LIVE for today. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Invest in the lives that are around you now…the future will unfold in a timing all its own.
POINT TO PONDER: What is your favorite childhood memory?
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