A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Monday, April 7, 2008

You're Gonna Miss This....

Periodically my daughter calls me with stories of how the kids are driving her nuts. While I know how frustrated she is, and that many of her experiences are different than mine, her tales often bring a silent smile to my face because they remind me of when she and her brother were young and how out of control life often seemed. And yet if I had a chance to go back to those days and do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat.

There is a song on my country station called You're Gonna Miss This. First it's a father talking to his daughter about not wanting to rush her life along too fast. And then a man is doing some repairs in a home where the kids are driving the mother crazy and she's apologizing for them. He says, "Don't worry, I have babies of my own. One is 36 and the other 33. You're gonna miss this..." Every time I hear that song I get teary.

Before I had kids there was a song called "Saturday Morning Confusion" about what a typical weekend morning is like in most homes with children. Even back then, I knew that I wanted those mornings. I wanted kids who would drive me nuts. I wanted the confusion and the chaos. And I sure had it! With twins it's always something.

I think of those moments when I would call my mom and vent about the whole motherhood thing. She would tell me - you're going to miss these days, don't wish them away so fast. I thought she was crazy. Who could ever miss:

* My husband coming home to find me and two 2-year olds crying in the living room
* Shoe prints on my hips for four years
* Crayon marks on the walls
* The bag of stuff I had to haul with me any time we ventured out
* Taking an incredible amount of time to get in the car or out of the car
* That first day of school when I cried and they cried
* Their fights with each other over pretty much anything

* Listening to them in their bedroom plotting to run away from home

* Hearing them say "I hate you" and knowing (or hoping) deep down that they didn't mean it
* Getting up in the middle of the night to cover them, take them to the bathroom, get them water
* Being so tired of hearing "Mommy" that I decided to change my name and not tell them what it was!
* Stepping on toys with my bare feet and threatening to leave home that very instant!
* Missing money, bandaids, pens, scissors, tape, etc
* Having my son say, "Mom, the neighbor may be calling you tonight" usually followed by "I love you, mommy."
* Spilled food and drink
* Tantrums
* Sitting in my car outside the school gym with all the other parents waiting for an event to end
* The late evening phone call from the teacher
* Hamsters that managed to get out of their cages periodically
* The five year old who still yelled "Mom, wipe me!"
* Snotty noses
* Two little kids running up to me with their arms open wide
* Cries of "hold me" or "carry me"
* Taking my daughter to see Mikhail Barishnikov and letting her meet him
* Taking my son to buy his first professional drum set
* Taking my teenage son to get his mullet removed
* Watching countless plays put on my my daughter and her friends

My kids are both incredible adults now with families of their own. but, oh, how I miss those days. I think that's one of the great joys of being a grandmother, you get a little bit of a chance to re-live some of it. Now, if I could just figure out a way to keep the grandkids from growing up too fast.......

4 comments:

ira said...

:)
Brought a tear to my eyes..

namaste said...

sandi, very very sweet post. it made me think of my own parenting experiences. i may post my thoughts in reaction to this beautifully written one you did. i'll let you know if and when i do.

:)

~m

CHATTI PATTI said...

the mullet......LMAO..!! Love it! Mine is fixing to turn 18 and I've been in mourning for over a year now. I don't know what I'll do or how i will live life once he spreads his wings and goes off to college.....:::sigh::::

ohhhh...how I miss those days...

Fleur de Lisa said...

I think it's essential to know that we really 'are' going to miss all of the craziness some day. We need to enjoy it in the moment. :)