Monday, November 17, 2014

Trying to Hang On

This past weekend went by so fast.  Like most weekends.  Like all time these days.

The kids had sleepovers and spent time at other activities.  That meant drop-offs and pick-ups at times that aren’t convenient for anyone, packing and unpacking bags that never seem to be fully emptied, calling for left behind phone chargers and bringing home stories and exhaustion and videos of playing with friends’ pets and why can’t we have one of our own?

We shopped for Christmas presents, which these days looks like me tailing my kids into stores and taking pictures of them holding up articles of clothing they HAVE to have and asking the salespeople if they think these things will be on sale next week.

I took my time making dinner on Saturday and watched the movie version of the book my son is reading in English class.  We talked about school and assignments and he reminded me twenty times that he had to write a blog post.  As I shooed him upstairs to write I smiled at the irony that he is doing the very same thing I tell myself I should be doing every day but I don’t.  I wonder – if someone gave me an assignment to write blog posts, would I write more often?

I taught Sunday School to a group of junior highers and was grateful for their good behavior because I felt like I repeated myself too much.  They were grateful for the leftover Halloween candy I fired across the room when one of them answered a question.  Chocolate is a wonderful unifier.

Over an hour on Sunday was spent slipping school pictures into envelopes and writing notes to family members, remarking on how grown the children are.  I didn’t properly convey my amazement and dismay at this in those few lines.  By the end, my hand hurt and I hoped they could read my worsening scrawl, but then realized that the pictures would far outshine the notes anyway.  As they should.

I made to-do lists and went through a pile of mail that had been languishing on my desk, walked through the house and reminded my family again that I am not a maid and that their things need to be put away, that dishes need to be washed, that sweatshirts need to be hung up and that I am not going to clean up this mess.  My blood pressure rose when nobody moved and I felt invisible and petty so I poured a glass of wine and curled up on the couch to be still with them. 

The messes were gone the next time I walked through the house.

I read the words of friends who write.  I hadn’t done it in a while and it was good for me.  Inspiring.  Funny.  Uplifting.  My friends are good writers.

I spent this weekend thinking it was a whirlwind.  It wasn’t really; just full.  I can’t stop myself from thinking that it will all end, when the kids are gone and there’s no one doing school assignments or needing to be picked up or showing me what shoes they want for Christmas.  There will be a time when there won’t be school pictures to send.  And that’s okay.  It’s the natural progression of a life.

I can’t stop any of it.

*******


16 comments:

  1. I haven't been at this as long as you have, but I still feel like I blinked and suddenly everyone's talking and walking and stuff. And even the babies are bigger when weren't they just teeny yesterday?

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    1. I hate cliches. Hate them. But they are cliches because they are true. They really do grow up fast.

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  2. This is my life, too. Except for the teaching Sunday School, but everything else was exactly the weekend that I had. EXACTLY - right down to the holding up clothes part.
    Oh, and I had beer instead of wine. And birthday cake. Because my daughter turned EIGHTEEN!

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    1. That is so funny.

      My kids thought I was a crazy person for taking the pics in public. MOM!

      My oldest will be eighteen in four-and-a-half years. That, as you know, is a blink. A breath. I want a re-do of these years. Just so we can relive them. Is that too much to ask?

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  3. It wakes me up at night, how my kids don't grow up little by little, but all at once. This was lovely. As your words always are. Thank you

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    1. Oh, yes. I totally understand that. We are here together. Thank you for the kind words, and for being my company.

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  4. I like this so much. It's just a snapshot of life but it's real and yes, chocolate IS a wonderful unifier! :D

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    1. Thanks so much, Elaine. And chocolate does bring people together, in addition to making any mood lighter. Whipping snack-sized Snickers and Reese's across a Sunday School room is just what I needed on Sunday morning.

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  5. I can relate so much to this.

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    1. I know you do. We're sisters, remember? xoxo

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  6. When they are babies the minutes drag but oh how the years do fly.
    The Granddaddy of all Cliches.

    Dang if it's not the truth, though.

    Still, I get the sense that you're keenly aware of this swift passage of time and that makes it okay. It's the not knowing - the 'would've, could've, should've done it differently - that can get to a person.

    Good thing there's chocolate.

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    1. Thank goodness for Chocolate. It makes all my regrets vanish. Even if sometimes it is the cause for a few.

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  7. I don't want it to go this quickly. I know it's silly to want to slow down time, but they are just exploding into people.
    (It makes me happy that the mess was picked up, though.)

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  8. Love this post - it's sad, and sweet, and hopeful. I think about this all the time when I'm about lose my mind: one day, I'll wish the full, mind-losing days were still happening. I'll miss the noise and the mess. Well, I may not miss the mess, but I'll feel nostalgic about it.

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  9. So productive! I have been very lazy for a week now, and I need to get my butt back in gear.

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  10. I don't know if it's seeing all of the other moms at preschool who have babies and toddlers or what, but I have been exceedingly observant of all of these things. I miss my little kids. We're not a gogogo family, but I know that someday we will wish we were still gogogoing.

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