One of my coffee shop customers also has two boys, her’s four and six and today she told me she misses them when they were the age Brandon and Holden are now. I thanked her for the reminder – to live in the now, to idle and just be where I am wholeheartedly. I often find myself looking forward to their independence, to school years and sports. I am not a baby person. I never was, really. I used to joke that if I could have my kids start at age two, I would take it in a heartbeat.
So to say these past nearly four years have been trying on me is a massive understatement. If you know you’re not something, then you’re really not. Most people live blissfully unaware of their shortcomings, but when a shortcoming is so short that even you can see it, then, damn. Damn! I have looked forward to the end of bottles and diapers and onesies. I have always been looking to what is next, looking forward to “the good age” (this illusive age that I’m not sure ever occurs).
After the coffee shop, I picked up the boys and then hurried them off to the library for story and dance time. And it was there, in the library, armed with his attitude, that Brandon did the deed. He had the most explosive tantrum I have ever witnessed. He was screaming and crying, somehow simultaneously. It was an impressive feat, really. I tried to shush him, which of course was useless. And then, mid-shushing, Holden started up. He must have figured if Brandon was screaming, there was something worth screaming about.
So I did the only thing I could, as a person with two kids that won’t budge on their own: I grabbed each of them, then tucked them into my sides in the football hold. It was a real badass mother maneuver. Having no free hands, I kicked the handicap button to open the doors for me. And then, no joke, a woman walked alongside me like a coach at a soccer game, saying, “you’re doing good work here, mom! Even if no one else recognizes it, you’re doing really important work!”
I thought about what my coffee shop customer said that morning and thought, certainly this isn’t what she meant. No one misses these moments. But as I drove with two screaming kids, I sat there silently, not really upset or anything, just contemplating. I thought about the woman who sideline coached me and thought, yes, even these moments. That woman misses all of it.
Here I am, right in the middle of what so many people want to have again or to have even once. The future will come inevitably. But these moments won’t come again. At least, in the case of the library tantrum, let’s hope it doesn’t come again.
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