WHEN THEY SAY YOU'LL MISS THESE DAYS
So, a while back I was out to dinner with a few friends to see a movie. I sat down next to a lovely friend who I don’t see often. She has 4 children. I was talking about how good my wine tasted and how exhausted I was from putting my crazy twin toddlers to bed before our 8 Pm dinner. I said, “they just turn away from me and run in opposite directions when I say get in the bath. Literally they are gone. One’s on sissy’s bunk bed about to fall off, and one is pooping in his underwear in the closet. It’s infuriating!” Little shits I uttered. She crinkled her nose and sweetly said, “y’all, I miss those days. I really really do. Those babies. So darn sweet.” Cue to yesterday’s early school pick up due to flooding in our area, and the twins hustling mama at full speed, a mom says to me, “I know you still have your hands so full, but I promise you, you will miss these days.”
Her son couldn’t have been more than 5. And boom, there it was again in black and white.
Last night my shins were hurting. Literally my shins. Maybe from pilates? or maybe from running around the second story of my house chasing my 3 old twin boys. And as I lay my head down to sleep, all I could think of was my friends words that night at dinner. “I miss those days.”
Her kids range from 9 or 10 to 18. She’s about to pack one off to college. And all of a sudden I really got to thinking. She misses these days. The ones I have now. She loves her days now, and she wouldn’t trade one single day. But those babies. She kept saying in her thick southern accent. “Those sweet babies.”
Sometimes I think we all think time is not upon us. We go past the moments quickly and effortlessly and then they’re gone. And truth be told, those actual moments don’t ever happen again. And we can’t change that. Ever. My friend’s words stuck to me like the biggest new york cheese pizza I could eat. Glued to my body. My heart. My mouth. All I could hear this morning were those words over and over again. And I think it was a lesson.
Be here now.
My husband isn’t a fan of chaos. I’m constantly reminding him that we live with twin toddlers. And a 7 year old. And when my stepson is here, we indeed live with a teenager. It’s chaos. All the time. I roll with it. I grew up in chaos. 4 kids is a circus. My Mom and I laugh about it now replaying old stories out loud verbatim to each other and we just laugh until we literally cry. I’m always like, “how in the world did you do that?” She raises her glass, smiles and starts giggling and says, “I just did it. And it was a blast.” Her eyes go cross eyed and she sticks her tongue out and laughs.
It was definitely chaos. And amongst my current chaos, I choose to freeze frame. As if I was in the editing room cutting film in the 90’s. When the chaos unfolds, I live in it, deeply. I feel all the emotion, I hear all the noises incredibly clear and I become so humbled by my story. By my chaos. By these crazy baby filled, toddler chasing, counter wiping, goldfish eating, tears falling long days.
And then I just pray to remember it. Because these are the days.
Mamas, these are the days.
And we don’t get them back.
The days are long, and the years are short.
So despite our guilt for cussing at the moon when the toddler asks for water again (for the 3rd time) just before you were about to take a bath with some pinot and john mayer, remember this.
It’s ok. It will pass.
I precisely remember a friend of mine wrote in my baby shower card, “enjoy those midnight feeds, you will miss them one day.”
I honestly couldn’t really even picture what she meant.
And all of a sudden, the sound of my 3 year old son saying to me 5 minutes ago (when requesting for water) “mama hold you, hold you”, my heart stops. It’s astoundingly sweet. And medicine for my soul when I need it. And that voice won’t always be that voice. And all of a sudden, I’m crushed.
Not because I don’t want growth of my babies, or the tide to move in and out day after day, and year after year, but because I’m just so thankful for the here and now. For those precious babies.
My friend was right. She misses those days.
And someday I will too. Somehow I think I already do.