Welcome to my version of Throw-Back Thursday, blog style. I’m taking Thursdays to revisit some older posts. I hope you enjoy the trip back in time.
(Originally published 24-JUL-2012)
Yesterday I took the day off. Completely off. No work, no housework, nothing but spending the day with Abby.
First we dropped Boo off at her school. Then….
We went to Dunkin Donuts and discovered the joy of the new Oreo donut. We went shopping. When offered the choice between doing our nails or going to a playground she chose the playground. We went to lunch, her choice where she could make our own pizza.
I was told I was the best mom ever (I am writing it down to remember when she is 16). I was told that we ‘have the most fun together’ (I am saving this for the college years).
Then I was told something was missing. I’m biting my tongue to not tell her to be selfish when she says:
The only thing missing was Boo.
So we went to get Boo from school and finished the perfect day.
I read a fantastic post from Eli at Coach Daddy the other day. So wonderful I decided to
steal ahem, borrow ahem, use it for inspiration. Lessons he learned from the most valuable source ever: his children. It made me think, as much as I have tried to teach my girls, the lessons I have learned from them are immeasurable.
Lesson 1: Seeing the magic in the world. Abby, at 10, is still enthralled with fairies, sprites, Christmas elves and witches (the good kind). She will spend hours making fairy houses in the backyard. She will stop in wonder to show Boo a pattern on a tree. She will look in puddles and see a rainbow. Where I will charge forth through the woods, Abby takes her time to admire the magic that is a butterfly dancing on the flowers. As a parent you never forget seeing the look of wonder on their face when they meet a Princess.
Lesson 2: Seeing the beauty in the world. All parents have been the recipient of the bouquet of dandelions. I hate yard work. As in despise it and wish I could convince David just to pave the entire yard. Yellow weeds had sprung up in my daisy patch. In the middle of pulling them, Abby stopped me and said: BUT THEY ARE GORGEOUS. So they stayed.
Lesson 3: Slowing down. I race every where. I do not casually walk into the grocery store, I speed walk throughout the experience. I find myself doing this at home. Racing up and down the stairs, into the laundry room, doing whatever. One day Boo took my hand and said: SIT ERE. Just that, sit down mom. She sat down next to me and just looked around. Not at anything in particular. Just took a moment to sit. We sat for a few minutes, she said ALL DONE. I have learned to walk at their pace.
Lesson 4: How siblings should treat one another. I admit to not being the perfect older sister. Ever. My relationship with my siblings is, well…complicated. When I look at my girls though I see how it should be. That sibling love is unconditional. It is accepting one another as is, no qualifier. That every time you see one another, whether it was five minutes or eight hours ago you greet one another like this…
Lesson 5: How to forgive. It amazes me, how quickly you can get over hurt feelings. If I have snapped at Abby (or her at me). If I mix up the girl’s lunches. If I forget an important event. If I show up at a birthday party a day early, at the wrong house. I am forgiven every evening before it is time for a good night kiss.
What lesson have you learned from your children? Join me in stealing Eli’s prompt.
This is kind of a Jen Kehl type of post but I hope everyone bears with me. I listen to Pandora at work. This means music goes from Eminem to the Drop Kick Murphys to the Glee Soundtrack. The other day right after I heard a song by Eminem the music transitioned to Christina Perry’s A Thousand Years (theme from Twilight).
It was the instrumental version so I did not have the singer’s voice, just the one in my head. It occurred to me that the song while about true love, to me is about parenthood.
“The day we met, Frozen I held my breath. Right from the start I knew I had found a place for my heart…”
With each girl I literally held my breath when I first held them. I was so afraid I would break them. But I knew in that instant I had found my home. One where I would always be warm and loved.
“Time stands still. Beauty in all she (he) is…I will not let anything take away what’s standing in front of me…”
Time does stand still. It also goes faster than a heartbeat. But there are moments of parenthood where you are lucky to see for the rest of your life. Their first step, their first smile (for real, not the gassy one). The day they drive the car for the first time. The moment they find their true love. No matter how many times you hear “MOOOOMMMMM” and wish they had a mute button. It will erase the moment you heard them say momma the first time.
“And all along I believed I would find you. Time has brought your heart to me. I have loved you a thousand years. I will love you a thousand more”
Children don’t understand. I know I did not understand the depths of my parent’s love until I had my own. Time might march on. We are only “here” for a short time. But love transcends time. It transcends distance. You can have a child half-way around the world and yet your love reaches them.
Your child might be non-verbal. They might be in the midst of an epileptic seizure. They might just be being a pain in the butt teenager. Yet they feel your love.
For a thousand years you get to feel theirs right back at you.
And that is how deep I got into A Thousand Years until Men in Hats came on. So everyone grab your child and do the Safety Dance!
I know you are getting a lot of advice as you transition from High School to College or from College to the “real world”. Everyone is telling you to enjoy this, the “best time of your life”. As my brother pointed out to me, this isn’t quite true. You see the best time of your life has already happened. At the same time you are no where near the best time of your life.
The best time of your life was your first step. Your first day of school. Your first crush. Your first kiss. Your first bike ride.
The best time of your life was the moment you received your license. The day you pitched your first no-hitter. The day you scored the winning goal or you starred in the school play. The night of your first sleep over.
The best time of your life was finding your best friend, for real.
The best time of your life was your first dance, your first homecoming, your prom, your graduation day.
The best time of your life will be your first apartment, your first love, your first ‘real’ job. The day you started exploring the world without a chaperone. The day you realized you can still call home.
The best time of your life will be taking trips with friends, experiencing the world at 18, 28, 38 and beyond. You will laugh and cry and say remember when you talk about those trips in the not so distant future.
The best time of your life will be finding your true love, the person who makes you whole. Your new life together, starting your family.
The best time of your life will be when your child comes into your life, when you explore the world through their eyes.
The best time of your life will be after the children are grown and you are still holding hands with your mate.
You will have many best times of your life. Don’t focus on this fleeting moment, don’t squander or yearn for this time in your life. Live each moment as it should be lived.
That moment will become the best time of your life. Enjoy it.