as good as it gets

one of my favorite scenes from a movie is when jack nicholson walks into the waiting room at his psychiatrists office, looks over all the tired, frazzled, depressed patients and queries, "what if this, is as good as it gets?" to which they all gasp and look horrified.

but lately, when i'm strapping all the kids into their car seats, again, or filling up sippy cups, again, or  changing a diaper again, because apparently my kids only like to go poop in a brand NEW diaper, thank you very much. and taking a few minutes in the car to go over parking lot rules and grocery store rules and church rules and grandma and grandpa rules, i think, "oh, it's going to be so much easier when they are older." but i remember hearing a friend tell me how difficult marriage is once your kids get older. you don't get to sit down at the end of a long, hard day, and go, "you are going to die when you hear what phoebe said today to the visiting teachers!", or "look at the new drawing abby made of you!".  no, at the end of those days your kids are still out with friends, or grounded, or arguing with you over a science project deadline. no cute baby talk, or first steps, first words, cute patty cake games or peek a boo sessions to connect over.

today,  my lovely friends came to my house and i heard the message; they would give anything to have little babies again. the innocence, the cuteness, the chubby thighs and drool marks! oh, how those things are totally endearing. i looked a rodney after they left, crawling around and babbling and thought, "he doesn't even nurse anymore!" he is getting so big. life is speeding by and i'm wishing a lot of my days away. i crawl out of bed in the morning and get things marked off that absolutely have to, lunches. check. homework. check. breakfast. check. dishes. check. snacks. check. clean up. check. diapers diapers and diapers, check.  and then, oh blessed nap time! how i could write a book full of poems of my love affair with nap time. and then from 3pm onward i count down the clock to bedtime. oh blessed bed time! i could do the same with you! my mom said, "if you ever are having a hard time with your kids, go look at them when they sleep". and i'm sure non-parents are thinking, "geez, lady. all you want is your kids to be gone and asleep?" but dude, you have no idea what 90 minutes of quiet can do for a mom with young kids. SERENITY NOW! should be pasted onto my doorbell during that time.

so i don't know what i meant by this, but i do want to enjoy the today and now more, and not wish it away. i'm not going to dismiss that taking care of little bodies is physically exhausting, because it is. there is no getting around that. anthony, my trusty phone repairman, came over for an upgrade during lunchtime on monday. and boy, did the kids put on a show. throwing food and sippy cups, (rodney). talking extremely too loud for the rooms size, (phoebe), whining about everything and fighting with sister (abby).  he very politely said, "you know, it's so easy to forget what its like with little kids (his are all a lot older)". to which i just laughed and thought, "you didn't forget, you BLOCKED IT OUT!" hahahaha.  so yes, little children are hard to manage. but teenagers? no control whatsoever. and adult children seem to break their parents' hearts even more than you could ever imagine.

so, if this is as good as it gets, i'll take it. because even though i go through diapers and wipes like crazy, and never leave the house because we are crazy, and talk baby talk to ty over the phone on accident, things are still good. we have abosolutely uneventful yet  stressful days and windows break and bills go unpaid and plans that need time and money that you don't have...there are still little moments like this:
grandma curtis and rodney: may, 2012

and that makes it all completely, entirely, 100% worth it.


Kay Hardy Barlow said...

Amen! I think that's one reason why I like reading your blog-it lets me remember what my life was like 15 or so years ago. Thanks for validating my feelings about raising little kids and teenagers. LOVE IT!

M.C. Sommers said...

This totally reminds me about that song "You're Gonna Miss This." I think it must be so hard to remember to enjoy the moments when your kids are so young (mostly because you are so exhausted), but I love how you always talk about how much you enjoy being a mom.

And I also love that scene in As Good As It Gets. Classic.

Candi said...

As always thank you for writing this.

I am having the hardest time being present. I recently read an article on missing you child's childhood and it got me thinking. I feel uncomfortable just being in the moment, my mind is always on the next thing I should be doing. But, I'm going to try extra hard to be present!

I am praying/hoping/wishing that I will have nerdy and/or shy teenagers!! I was so nerdy and loved my mom, never gave her any trouble. (my friends read my journal in high school and couldn't get past af few pages because it was so boring!) My husband was so shy that he didn't kiss a girl until he was 23.

Annie Leavitt said...

i wrote this and then realized it sounds a lot like that one article that went viral about "enjoy it now". oh well.

candi, my brother and i always laugh that he is grooming his kids to be total nerds in high school, because they get in less trouble! it's a great plan : )

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