Monday, June 3, 2013

A Precious Gift

This time of year, I always start to think about Conner more.  My last memories of him are sunshine and green grass, sprinklers and popsicles, so when those things start appearing more, my mind wanders back to that spring.

A lot of parents resent it when older parents, whose children are teenagers or are grown, say to them something like, "I miss when mine were little, I loved every minute of it."  And I understand why.  I never really got annoyed by such statements because I knew that childhood is very short: I had my first baby 3 weeks before I turned 20, and my second when I was 21, and by the time he was a few months old, my own childhood seemed a rather distant memory.  It became apparent very quickly that while the days could be long, somehow the years were very short and flew by very quickly.  My oldest will be 9 tomorrow, and I find myself a bit bewildered at how that's happened so fast.  Furthermore, I ascribe to a belief system which teaches that we will live forever, but will do so as fully realized adults: the years from birth to 18, that tiny blip in the eternal round, is the only time in all eternity that we will know these magnificent souls as the beautiful little children that they are now.

Still, I understand the frustration at parents whose days of oft-interrupted sleep, being screamed at, and slobbered, vomited and pooped on are far behind them telling you to love every minute of it.

I understand what those older parents are saying, though.  That's the gift that Conner gave me.  I can't honestly say that I love being with my children all the time;  I certainly want to find a place to hide when they are whining, or fighting with each other, or crying over being told they can't have any Goldfish.  Sometimes I want them to just leave me alone for two minutes, or just go to sleep already.  But when you love a child and that child is abruptly taken, when you suddenly have to say goodbye and that childhood is cut short, it throws into sharp focus the joy of parenting.  It made me more mindful of how fleeting those wonderful, delightful moments are.  So, no, I can't say that I love every moment, but thanks to Conner, I love that I have every moment--even the hard, tired, frustrating ones. 

No comments: