I just tried to scrape the teething biscuit from my t-shirt. I was as successful at that as I was at removing it from 9-month old’s eyebrows and hair. I gave up and declared it a “bath night” for her. I destroyed the ant I found in the dining room; hopefully before it got the word out that under my table lies an ant feast, “crumbs to last through the winter and beyond as long as you don’t get killed by the flying spoon that volleys to the floor every 20 seconds during meal times.”
My preschooler used lunch to experiment with what happens when you dump your yogurt in the tea you requested at breakfast this morning, mixed with water, and then refused to drink. I managed lunch while catching up with my first college roommate. The 9-month old screamed everytime she dropped her cracker, when I couldn’t get the spoon into her mouth fast enough, when I wouldn’t let her have the spoon, and when I didn’t pick it up fast enough after she practiced pitching it. My friend kept saying, “You probably need to go.” And I kept putting it off. Talking to her reminded me that I have a lot to be thankful for. She was always the energetic one who could outdistance my performance in anything; now she is struggling with ill health and scheduled for surgery next week. She struggles to get off the couch and to homeschool her two children.
She reminds me about the moment. She tells me about bra-shopping with her daughter and I can’t believe this tiny little baby I once held is now turning into a young woman. My own tiny daughter will probably grow up tomorrow and I want to enjoy today. We lament that we always see what we didn’t accomplish at the end of the day instead of what we did. She said she recently gave up lists because she got too depressed when she only checked off two of the eight things she had hoped to accomplish. I am stupidly dependent on lists. I tell myself I will forget something without it. But my list is always in my head and everytime I look at the floor I know I need to vacuum. Okay, no more lists.
I am also giving up apologizing to my husband for everything I didn’t get done. Instead I’ll tell him that once again I have done his laundry, changed 14 diapers, fed everyone breakfast and lunch, read stories, played blocks, kept the preschooler from assaulting the 9-mo. old, walked to the park and back, made our bed, picked up countless toys, and that it looks promising that I will get dinner ready tonight
before 7. It might be awhile before everything I didn’t get done doesn’t run through my head; but he doesn’t have to look far to know I didn’t clean the bathroom (again), the kitchen floor is in dire need of a good scrub, and I still haven’t managed to get his old law books listed for sale. Oh and I still haven’t lost that 20 pounds. He can figure all of that out.
My life is good. In 20 years the bathroom will probably be clean, and the table set for dinner when my husband arrives home. I will have caught up with old friends and new. I hope I will have my health, but if not, I will be grateful I had it as long as I did. I will miss my children, and hopefully be finishing up their baby books. I probably will be able to sleep 8 consecutive hours at night. And I will walk past harried young mothers in the grocery store trying to keep their toddler from toppling out of the cart and their preschooler from knocking over a jar of peaches. And I will think, “I miss those days. They went so fast.”