My life seems to have gotten busier as my children age. This doesn’t seem possible since their early years were filled with diapers, play dates, scavenger hunts, naps, play dough and playgrounds. I distinctly remember the exhaustion of sleep deprivation, the endless loads of laundry and toddler temper tantrums. I remember losing myself to my children and their amazing wonder and discoveries. And I remember thinking life couldn’t get fuller.
And now, I have one in high school and the other in middle, and I simply collapse into bed at the end of the night, often before they do.
A recent Friday night follows:
School dance for my daughter right after school. 4-6
Get son from track practice. 5:30
Get daughter early from dance to get her to soccer practice. 5:45
Drop son off to start cutting grass. 6
Grocery shop. 6:15-6:45
Pick daughter up from soccer. 7
Quick shower for kids while I unload the groceries. 7-7:15
Art class 7:30 – subs from grocery store for dinner consumed during class
Bed – 11 p.m.
Wake up and repeat. Day after day. It’s no wonder I fall into bed at night.
I have friends who count down the days until their oldest drives. Others with older children tell me, “I don’t miss those days.”
But here’s the thing. I love it. I love the car rides filled with stories of their days, practices, friends, tests and whatever else is on their minds. I love seeing their sweaty faces, red from exertion climb into my car, muddy feet and all. I love knowing that their lives are full and enriched.
I could do without the frenetic pace and constant juggling, but I love being an active part of their lives. I love the chaos because I get to be a part of these amazing developmental years. I love their chatter and excitement.
I don’t long for the days when my son drives. I don’t long for the days when my life is more simple. I don’t wish this time away because all too soon, my house will be quiet. All too soon, I will wish for muddy footprints, crazy schedules and sweaty faces. I know that my time left with them in the home is fleeting and I cherish every, exhausting moment. It’s a crazy life, but it’s so magical and wonderful. I’m just along for the ride.