Posted by AVM

I have a distinct memory of a conversation I had with my parents when I was around 15 years old.  I was going through the usual teenage angst – probably some blendered version of boy, school, hair and friend drama (or more likely something less significant), and my parents were trying to talk to me about how I was feeling (or was it my attitude. . . I can’t remember).  Through tears and sufficient melodrama, I said to my parents, “I just want to be where you are!  Your life is set!  You don’t have to worry about school, or what you want to do for your career, or meeting someone to marry, or any of that!  You’re done!”  And with that, my father took a fit of laughter that lasted a solid five minutes.  As I reflect on this conversation (which my father is only too happy to remind me of whenever the mood strikes), I am thinking that my parents were only a couple of years older than I am now when I came out with this gem two decades ago.  I cringe thinking about it – at the naivete of the entire sentiment – to be dumb enough to think that life gets easier instead of more complicated, or that anyone’s life is static and not in constant flux and evolution.  It is laughable, and I had it coming.

Why is it impossible to be in the moment and enjoy the stage you’re in while you’re in it?  Why must nostalgia always play a role in memories?  Why not soak it all in as you’re going through it?  Maybe most of you do this, and I’m just a person who needs some space from a phase before really appreciating it.  That, I don’t know.

I have a friend who’s an artist and much of her amazing work is like fuzzy snapshots in time in a way that romanticizes every scene she paints.  You don’t see the struggle behind the eyes of the subjects – no, you see a beautiful scene – not what it took to get there or what happened a moment after.  When I look backward in time in my own life, I see all good things that I experienced – everything I love and miss (I guess it is nice not to have regrets). When I look ahead, I see good times and years I’m looking forward to. When I look at today, I see a routine that I need to get through – diapers and bottles and tantrums and bathtime, and lots of laughs too, but in the midst of all that.  That is not fair. It’s not fair to my husband and children, and it’s not fair to me.  I’m cheating everyone. The time has come for me to be in the moment and appreciate how lucky I am and how great THIS DAY is. Time to remember that there are many people who would trade anything for two healthy children. Time to recognize that I will one day very soon say, “Just yesterday they were babies!”  Bravo to all of you who have this life lesson down pat. What good is getting where you want to be if you don’t enjoy the journey along the way?

Ok, I’m off to go snuggle with my girls and my husband on the couch. I spent a lot of time today making Superbowl snacks for all of us to enjoy on this quiet Sunday night – just the four of us. I hope they can taste that they were made with love. Their baths can wait a while. Tonight I’m going to live this memory.

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