I wish someone had whispered into my ear....
I Wish Someone Had Whispered into My Ear…
It happens. I guess I knew it was coming, of course.
Moment by moment. Day by day, month by month. Year by year.
So how could it catch me by surprise? Wasn’t it just yesterday when he fit nicely into the baby sling and I could carry him around all day? Then suddenly, I have to look way up in the sky to see his face and switch to wondering what he’s doing all day at college.
Clearly it doesn’t literally happen overnight. But it does seems like it. When you are in the chaos of daily living (surviving?) meeting the needs of small people and managing the life and death details, you very much are in the “now”. The fork-in-the-electrical-socket now.
Not in a delicious mindful presence. Definitely not preparing for the next major stages. Not knowing what they might even look like.
More like dealing with the poop stuck in your fingernails. Or which screaming kid to soothe first, and trying to fit in taking a shower. Oh, and the endless ‘what to make for dinner’ because they are hungry (again) and are staring at you. And the dog jumped up on the counter and ate your first attempt at dinner (as you plead for them to eat the “only licked” parts).
At times you feel like these hard and physically demanding parts will last forever. But they don’t. So it comes down to what you make of them as you go. Getting perspective of your ‘now’ by glimpsing into the next. Peeking behind the curtain of where all this is heading. Making peace with your now challenges and encouraging your future self not to mourn the loss of these crazy days. (You may not even be able to believe that is remotely possible - “miss this chaos?” — but it is.)
So know — after driving them to everything and everywhere, the day comes when they drive away. As you solemnly watch the car fade down the street with their hands on the wheel and your silent prayers in the passenger’s seat.
So know — like in middle school when you’re forever trying to get them to understand why the habit of a planner is SO important to organize their chosen hectic lives… AND the day comes when they pull out their phone calendar and say, “yes, I’m free at that time.” Wow. Just wow.
Stuff does sink in. What you do along the way, on any given day or over and over and over — matters.
Although I’m still in the thick of it to a certain extent I wish someone would have whispered in my ear, regularly, “today mattered, you are doing it right, this is leading to something.”
I didn’t stop often enough to wallow in the beauty of raising them when they were little. It seemed like we were either moving, scheduled up, running in different directions, or just on the move. I didn’t stop during it all to appreciate what a good job I was doing either.
Until now. I still have time. Some of my kids are “big”, some are still around - and I honor my abundant love and contribution that will always be at the their fingertips to choose into.
So as they somehow went from 20” to 75” or 19 months to 285 months, I can feel and be reminded of the joy, of the overcoming; of the really cool beings these humans are.
Truth: through all the ages and stages — the days are long and the years are short. And, in a whisper, you are doing awesome - what you did this very day, mattered.
*Experience more on how I got to “rewatch” the movie (and how you can too) in my book, The Perfect Cupcake, a Momoir.