Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It won't always be this way

We pack the bags, the beach toys, the towels, the snacks, the drinks, the shade tent, and the kids and we head to the beach where we unpack the bags, the beach toys, the towels, the snacks, the drinks, the shade tent, and let the kids have their way with rocks and bits of dead crab parts found while the baby tries to shove great handfuls of sand in her mouth and Chicky complains there's sand in her Goldfish crackers. Soon we're covered in sweat and sand and the rocks have taken their toll on our tender toes and we're tired and wiped out and the kids are cranky and we're cranky and we still have to repack the bags, the beach toys, the towels, the leftover sandy snacks, the bottles with the dregs of warm drinks, the shade tent and the kids and we tell ourselves -

It won't always be this way.

At the ice cream shop, one girl is jumping out of her skin in anticipation, bumping into unsuspecting customers in her excitement, while the other toddles toward the busy parking lot. Ordering takes much longer than it should because we're scolding and admonishing and chasing, we look apologetically toward the college-aged girl behind the counter. Soon both girls are sticky from head to toe with a combination of pink and green ice cream and as a result we're both covered with ice cream too. Over their heads I say to him -

It won't always be this way.

At dinner, CC is not content to sit at the table, she needs to get down and make her own discoveries on the well trodden floor. Chicky whines for her supper. Why is it taking so long? she asks mournfully. The food finally comes and they pick at it like they weren't just starving a moment ago while we devour our food in shifts, first him then me. We leave a pile of discarded napkins and french fries on the floor behind us. As we're buckling both overtired girls in the car he says to me -

It won't always be this way.

It's been a long day and we get the girls undressed and ready for bed. We inhale the scent of their suntanned bodies, the salt in their hair. As we put her in bed, we ask Chicky what her favorite part of the day was. Everything, she answers emphatically, a contented smile on her face. Bedtime stories read, she holds tightly to our necks - I love you Mommy, I love you Daddy. So much.

In the quiet of her room I rock with CC in my arms. I pepper her silky hair and her rosy cheeks with kisses. She sighs contentedly and tucks her arms and legs underneath her while snoozing on my chest. I rub her back before finally, begrudgingly, placing her into her crib. She grabs her lovie and closes her eyes and for a moment I linger, watching the rise and fall of her chest before leaving the stillness of her room. I fall, exhausted, onto the couch next to him and lay my head on his shoulder. I'm quiet while I think about our day, the highs and lows, the difficulties and the triumphs. But most of all, I think about the last few minutes. I think about the love and the need, both theirs and mine. And I say to him with a heavy heart -

It won't always be this way.

41 comments:

Suz said...

Very sweet and eloquently said; you should listen to the darius rucker song, "it won't be like this for long".

So Not Mom-a-licious said...

You honestly wrote words that I feel all of the time. Although, every now and then I have to kick my hubs on the leg to make him realize that these moments, good or bad, really inly last for small intervels.

You have made me remember this moment (for which I thank you)...my son wanted so desperately to play in the yard. I did not. He begged me to "Sit Mama" on the deck. I decided that this was a moment to cherish. Instead of walking away to play, he sat right next to me, turned, and smiled. I couldn't have been more thankful for that silly little moment.
It's never always this way, especially once you look back. So sometimes, even the most mundane of things can turn into lifes little treasures!

ewe are here said...

A sweet post ... and a sweet reminder to enjoy the moments we have with our wee ones... because you're right, it won't always be this way.

smilingsherpa said...

So very, very sweet. Thank you for this.

Gigi said...

so very, very true. It won't always be that way - and it goes way too fast. I remember like it was yesterday when my son was a little guy and now, as a friend pointed out to me (like I didn't know) he only has three more years of high school. As much as I enjoy my big guy - I really, really miss my little guy with his chubby little fingers . . .

SciFi Dad said...

No, it won't. And while on the one hand that sucks, on the other hand it's part of the parenting experience, and something I wouldn't trade for anything.

Manic Mommy said...

You and I are in exactly the same place. Yours was better-said.

kgirl said...

Got a tear there. You are so absolutely right about this. Sigh.

Avalon said...

It might not be exactly this way, but it will be wonderful in other ways. My daughter is now 25, living a life of her own, but every time we are together, there are many of those moments we share together. Still.

( well, maybe not the rocking, story reading or back rubbing, but you get the idea!)

Walsh Family said...

beautiful, just beautiful. Thank you for helping to put this business if parenting into perspective.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

*sigh*

It won't, will it?

ClumberKim said...

You are seriously messing with my ability to get any work done, missy. No nutella for you!

And thanks. I needed exactly this today.

Mrs. Chicken said...

This summed up my entire three-week vaycay on Cape Cod this summer. Thank you for reminding me that when this time passes, I will mourn it.

Issas Crazy World said...

Oy ve, I'm crying now. This was beautiful and so freaking true.

Burgh Baby said...

The good news is that while it may not always be like this, it may sometimes be even better.

LOVE this post.

Atlanta Mommy said...

That brought tears to my eyes. Thank you!

motherbumper said...

I know. *sigh*

TwoBusy said...

Honestly? That was eye-opening.

Thank you.

Tracy said...

Beautiful. Thank you.

Childsplayx2 said...

Might be tearing up a little bit here. Maybe.

Suburb Sierra said...

Parenthood: exhausting and rewarding.

And few things are as rewarding as the end of the day, holding them in your arms with that delicious smell of beach. Great post.

Suzy Voices said...

Definitely tearing up over here. I just finished writing a post about how sad I am about my boys starting school today. It just goes by so fast!!

mamatulip said...

This is a really, really beautiful post.

Ashlie- Mommycosm said...

So, very true. Such a sweet post.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

So beautiful. Makes me sad that my day ended with my son screaming at me for some injustice or another. You are right to look at the good side.

Heather said...

Exactly. It's tough at times, but these times will be over so quickly and I know I'll miss it.

SUEB0B said...

You can't make me cry, you can't, you can't. I'm NOT crying! Not me. Snurfle.

Kelly said...

That was beautiful! I got all choked up. Made me regret just snapping at my daughter to leave me alone for 3 minutes so I could read your post.

Gray Matter said...

My favorite saying: The years fly by...but the days are an eternity. This was absolutely beautifully written.

Sweet.

Toast2Mom said...

Such a beautiful viewpoint. Really, really lovely.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Have you ever read that book, I'll Love You Forever? You know, with the mother that rocks her baby, then child, then teenager, etc... Makes me bawl, so I can't read it.

Quite honestly? This post ripped me out more than that book did. I loved it. It's a love letter to your kids and I'd print it and frame it and give it to them.

But I really didn't want to cry tonight. Thanks a lot...

Jenny said...

I love your post. I find myself doing the same thing at the end of the day and remembering that soon enough my little one won't want to be attached to me...

Schmutzie said...

You are being featured on Five Star Friday!
http://www.fivestarfriday.com/2009/08/five-star-fridays-edition-67.html

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

I love this one T. So so true.

Anissa Mayhew said...

Tania, we could just indulge in a non-going love fest, but I think you'd win because I know EVERY parent worth their salt has hit this wall. WOW. What a beautiful post...this deserves to be fivestarfriday EVERY day. Save it. Submit it for Blogher10. DO IT!

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

Isn't it amazing, how we can feel such polar opposite emotions in such a short span of time?

It's nice to remember that even when it's tough, it's worth holding on to.

Binky said...

Ain't that the truth. And fantastically phrased, too.

KiwiLog said...

Hi! We loved your post over at KiwiLog and decided to feature it as a part of our weekly mom blog round-up. Thanks!

Karen Sugarpants said...

No, it won't. What a truly sweet sweet post. :)

Ali said...

yes. oh my god. yes.
I love this, lady.

kittenpie said...

*SNORLFE* NO, no, that's something in my eye.

Too true. Sometimes we say, "13 more years!" Adn sometimes, that seems like so very little time.