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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Remember When

This morning we took Eric's parents to HyVee for breakfast for their birthdays.  We surrounded a round table enjoying eggs, french toast dusted with powdered sugar, and shredded potatoes glistening with cheese.  The kids were bubbly and talked excitedly about birthdays, Christmas, and school.  Lauryn shrieked with delight from her highchair and welcomed strangers with her contagious smile.  As we finished our meal an older lady walked by our table and stopped while staring for a moment at each of us.  I watched as her eyes went in a circle from seat to seat and wondered what she was thinking.  Finally she spoke and with a distant smile said, "What a lovely family."  Then she proceeded to her own table where she watched on as we finished our meal.  While we bundled the kids in their coats and swept the crumbs under the table she smiled and again and told me, "Enjoy your family. They grow up fast, even if it doesn't seem like it right now."  I smiled politely and thanked her and told her how much we enjoy our kids.

When you have young kids you hear the words "they grow up fast" all the time.  I know that there is truth in this statement.  We celebrate Cailyn's 7th birthday this week and I remember so vividly the day she was born.  She really has grown up SO fast.  However it is what the woman added on to that phrase that caught me off guard-"even if it doesn't seem like it right now."  

I am guilty of sometimes wishing away the years.  Sleepless nights, diapers, early mornings, snack days, snotty noses, laundry, interrupted showers, sharing our bed, and messes all over the house.  These are the stresses that often make me wonder what life will be like when they can take care of themselves more.  I long for an hour of quietness and instead hear stomping feet, screaming voices, and the clatter of toys.  I yearn to walk into a flawless house and instead see crumbs on the floor, finger prints on the windows, and toys littering the floor.  

The look of remembrance and absence in the woman's voice when she said, "...even if it doesn't seem like it now" made me want to take back all of the thoughts on wishing my kids to grow up.  It is hard to remember that they are only little once and that you should enjoy as much of it as you can.  Instead of worrying about all the things that need to be done I want to change my thinking and worry more about all the things I should be doing with my kids. The last thing I want in life is to look back and wish I had spent more time with my children.  

I know that the hard times of having littles will eventually fade away and someday I will be wishing the chaos back as I watch a young family together in a restaurant.  Thank you, random lady, for putting my life into perspective.  

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