I am feeling blessed. It is easier on a day like today. It is bright and sunny, about 85 degrees and I am writing, enjoying the shade under a picnic bench umbrella. There is a soft breeze swirling my hair around my shoulders. Little One just got finished being an “explorer.” Complete with his safari hat and binoculars, lurking for wild animals in the tall grass. He is now in the sand box, telling me how cool and comfy the sand is on his bare piggies.
I am in my back yard. MY back YARD! I don’t let that sink in enough. This is my piece of heaven. My abode. My haven. Not everyone can enjoy this any time they want. And all I have to do is walk out my back door. Every so often, I stop and am in awe. It scares the shit out of me. I chastise myself with feelings of inadequacy and being undeserving of such a life. I am afraid that it will all be taken away, somehow. I worry - it’s what I do. Then I get mad at myself for being scared. I get angry for NOT being able to take it all in and enjoy it for what it is worth.
The pressure we put on ourselves is too much. We are constantly being told and also feel the need to “take every moment in.”
“Cherish this time, in your life.”
“It goes by so quick!”
“They grow up so fast!”
“They won’t be little forever!”
It is a constant stream of people telling us, “Hey, you! Don’t you dare feel frustrated or overwhelmed! If you don’t enjoy every split second, there is something wrong with you!” It is not what they mean to say, but it is often what we hear.
These messages are usually being thrown at us from people who mean well and have “been there-done that.” But what if we started to throw the messages back at them?
“Hey, enjoy your retirement You’ll be dead before you know it!” (OK maybe that was a bit harsh, but I am PMSing)
“Enjoy, waking up when you wake naturally!”
“Enjoy a routine that is not interrupted.”
“Have fun spoiling your grandkids without fear of screwing up their lives.”
“Enjoy the fact that your grandchildren will unceasingly hold you in the highest and best regard, no matter what and until the end of time.”
It is not always the grandparent generation that is giving us this advise. Sometimes it is those that have kids who are on to the next level. My First Born is 9 and Little One just turned 5. So sometimes those who have teenagers, long for those cute, smaller ages again. They will often tell horror stories of the pubescent demon that resides in their child’s room. “So enjoy it now! It only gets worse!” “God, I miss them being so small!” is often heard. Maybe we could tell them:
“Yes, but treasure the fact that you can let them get a bath or shower without worrying about them dying.”
“Enjoy not having to wipe anyone's ass, but your own.”
“Have fun not having to watch NICK Jr., PBS Kids or Disney. Every. Day.”
“Enjoy not being woken up on the weekends, by anything other than your own circadian clock.”
“Take pleasure in being able to go out to a meal with your Hub without having to find a babysitter, leave a list of instructions, numbers, Dr.s’ information, allergies and neighbor’s names.”
I mean - every stage of life has moments to treasure. Every stage of life also has moments that are infuriating. I don’t expect to hate all of it, but we can’t be expected to love every single minute of it. If we didn’t allow ourselves to experience the difficult times (and sometimes really wallow in them) we would not know the joy and euphoria of the good times.
So as I watch Little One who has now found the hose and is “washing the house”
I think how sweet he is and how much fun he is having. That is followed by, realizing that all his summer clothes that I just fished out of the basement are still in the washing machine.... from yesterday. Which means I have to wash them again. I also have to fight with him as I turn off the hose, inevitably getting wet. Will I enjoy that.... Maybe. but that is my business. OK, now he just dropped trough and is peeing next to the hose..... My advise is, don’t give advise, unless it is asked for. Specifically. Then again who asked me? Better yet, write a blog!
CAVEAT: The "retirement aged people" I speak of in my blog are NOT my parents! I honestly have never received that "advise" from them. See Dad, I told you!