Monday, August 28, 2006
Beautiful plumage. . . . .I admit: I often thought like this. I couldn't wait 'til I could go places without carrying half a department store with me. I watched in wonder as people bought movie tickets, conversed in restaurants, shopped for their own clothes and were able to actually try them on first, had nothing but groceries in their carts, opened the car door and just got in, and slept late on weekends and holidays.
Now I can do all of those things any time I want, as long as they don't cost any money. Do I miss having small children and babies? I sure do. Do I envy young parents when I see them in the mall, hobbled by bags full of Pampers and strollers the size of a Hummer and costing more than the rent on our first house? Actually, yes. And since I do get to go about unencumbered, stay up late, and sleep in on occasion, do I really enjoy those things as much as I thought I would?
What did you all THINK I was going to say? Really? Hahahahahahahaha. . . . .
Don't worry, exhausted friends. Your time will come, and when it does, you'll love it even while you're mourning a lifestyle lost forever.
If you think back hard enough you might remember mourning a lifestyle lost temporarily when you brought that first bundle home from the hospital. . . . .
Well, eventually it comes back, even if your first youth doesn't, and if you play your cards right and change the locks, you'll enter yet another phase of parenthood that they don't tell you about in those baby books you've memorized: enjoying your children when they grow up and move out, and learning how to disguise a wicked grin of satisfaction with a mature smile of understanding.
I'm still working on the 'mature' part.
I'm also still working on the 'I don't miss them, not really, because they've got their own lives to live now and I'm proud of the people they've grown into and I wouldn't call them back even if I could" thing. Because, you know, there are days when I'd turn them back into tiny little children in a whipstitch.
There are also days when, after staying up till sunrise and getting up at 2:00 p.m., that I think back and laugh out loud.
Anyhoo, if you need a little break, bring them on over. I'll put you in the guest room and when your kids wake up at dawn, just give them a little shove out into the hall and I'll take it from there. You just turn over and go back to sleep.
Yes, for you, I'll get up at dawn and take care of your babies while you get some sleep. I still have cute toddler dishes and little spoons and small cups (shut up) but I won't promise not to teach your child the Lumberjack Song and the Dead Parrot sketch and the wedding scene from 'The Princess Bride.'
I taught my own, after all. And they're 'all right.' Even though their childhood is 'no more.'
It's now a 'dweam wifin a dweam.' Sigh.