We hear it all the time when we have young children, especially when they are acting like little children. This weekend with my nephews at the hotel an older couple watched the boys with a big smile and spoke of their grandchildren. After a little while the man came over and said to us “You will miss this, it goes by faster than it feels.” I thought… man I know. I really, really know.
I miss that time, even though I never thought I would. I used to hear those people and think, I am sure they are right but damn how can I miss this exhaustion and their neediness. I am not needy, I raised girls with rockin’ OT skills and pushed them to be independent from an early age. I loved watching them do things all by themselves, it made us more of a team. We made it through the hard times, or so I thought. I don’t even remember back in the survival mode… when I made it through days with only hours of sleep. I can’t remember how I got the kids to sleep better, or what I did when they started waking up 2 or 3 times in the night. I don’t remember those months of teething and pain for my babies (and me). Vacations and restaurants were.not.fun.at.all. We were gluten for punishment though and still tried. Our friends would host parties, we were the only couple with kids… so our babies would TOUCH EVERYTHING… stereo equipment, hot platters and more. It was NOT fun. It is life with a toddler… or in our case a buncha toddlers.
… But damn they were cute girls.
Gone are the days that were spent at the park just playing and snacking with friends. Gone are the days of toting 5 girls to the bathroom and helping them get their pants down in time, and not caring that the park had dirty bathrooms. Gone are the days of putting on a swimsuit to take my girls into the water at Thompson’s Lake, begging them to come play in the sand so I could sit. Gone are the days of amazing workouts with my friends while my girls enjoyed daycare, or preschool. Gone are the days of random lunch picnics in march, at the first moment we saw dirt under the snow. Gone are the days…
I really miss those days. I miss my trio of Musto Chicks, my 3 under 3. I miss our days. I miss making a day out of a sprinkler, naked kids and popsicles… then a nap. I loved those days when I lived them, I don’t regret or feel like I missed things back then. I just fully and wholly miss those times.
My girls are growing and changing. They are mature beyond their years, yet perfectly naïve and positive. They are their own selves. They are creative and independent. They cook themselves, they cut veggies with sharp knives, they plan best day ever’s. They sometimes do their reading and practice their instruments. They are terds sometimes and challenge me to the core. They are pretty spectacular and exceptionally mediocre people. They go in the water without me, they go for bike rides alone. They enjoy time in their rooms without me… I am no longer the coolest person they have in their life. It is a mixed feeling.
I really miss ‘the good ole’ days. The days of adventure and naps and a car full of snacks and diapers… days spent at the park, story hour and hikes in the Pine Bush. I didn’t know I would miss those days so much. I guess that is part of it, not knowing how much we will miss something so much. Would we live it just right if we knew how much we would miss it? Would it be the ‘just right’ experience if we knew what we would miss? I think maybe we get to enjoy it more not knowing, not comprehending how much we will miss it.
So all those times people told me I would miss it and I brushed it off and kept right on going… wiping
butts, donning my bathing suit in the water with my kids and hoarding goldfish when they were on sale… were done just right- so I could miss them.
All those moments I had a Madeline, the moments I owned my 3 chicks were done just right for me to miss later. I wish I could peek back and be in those moments again. I guess life is not like that though… just moving forward and looking backwards. I smile looking back… I cry thinking back. What an amazingly simple and painful life I have to miss. Look back on your ‘good ole days’… think of all the amazing and simple you never knew you would miss…
Thank you Madeline Elizabeth Musto for all those ordinary and lovely and difficult moments I miss…