I always live for today.
That’s not to say that I don’t reflect on the past. On the night I met my husband, or the day my children were born. That doesn’t mean I don’t think back on vacations we’ve taken or places we have lived.
Of course I think of the future, who doesn’t?
However, when I think of my future, I think of sitting on a porch swing, old and gray, holding my husbands hand enjoying a glass of wine staring out at the property we dreamt our whole marriage of owning. I think of my future with my husband, I think of watching my grandchildren run barefoot on that property.
What I don’t ever think of is that time in between now and then.
This is literally the hardest time in a marriage. Having babies and raising toddlers. It feels like it is nearly impossible to find enough time in the day, especially for your spouse. My husband works all day, I’m growing a human while chasing two others, trying to keep up with the house… after cooking dinner, washing dishes and doing bath/bedtime routine, we are both burned out. Here is the thing that I never stop to think about because I am so encompassed in this phase of life- this isn’t it. It doesn’t go from this phase of life to being old and gray.
Tonight I…I mean “the baby” needed cake at 9pm. I snuck out after putting the kids to bed to fulfill this craving. On the drive there, while jamming out with all of my awesome “mom alone and on the loose” dance moves, I drove past a house with the garage doors open and the flood lights on. It caught my eye, and I looked. A father was outside playing an intense game of basketball with his son. I smiled. I realized in that moment that one day, not too far from now, Grey will be tall enough to play basketball with a real basketball hoop, my husband will be a middle aged man. Although tired, he will take time to shoot hoops with our boys before they turn in for the night. Who will win? Will he take it easy on them, letting them win? Or will he challenge them? What sports will my boys play? What about Ada? Will she be in Drama Club? Play lacrosse? Cheer? Who will they be in their adolescence?
I work hard to teach my kids manners, all of the “life skills” they need to be respectful (and respectable) functioning human beings when they are adults. I think of who they will be in their twenties. But the teenage years were never really something I gave much thought too.
Until tonight. When I saw that father and his teenage son playing basketball.
It hit me then, that they are not my babies forever. They don’t just jump from being these sweet chubby cheeked humans to being the grown adults I dream they are blessed enough to grow to be. Earlier in the day, I was working on my desktop in the loft (which is by Grey’s room). I heard him babble to himself, heard the swish of his diaper and a little grunt and turned to see him determined to climb into the glider in his room, book in hand.
I was editing a client session and had my camera at my desk and quickly turned it on and snapped this photo, so thankful the settings were right.
He climbed up there, with his favorite book Where the Wild Things Are, and began reading to himself.
These are the moments I live for. The moments in the present. Partially because tomorrow is never promised, partially because I am so busy in the day to day that those days of high school games seem so far in the future but mostly because I enjoy these times, hard as they may be. I love hearing Grey learn new words, I love hearing Ada play with her barbies, or watching her work on math problems with such intensity.
I love this hard phase of life.
Do I sometimes cry myself to sleep on rough days? Absolutely. Do I argue with my husband about how the kids should be punished, or what they should be eating etc? Yes. And every single day I miss my husband because of how hard we both work and how little time it seems we have to spend together. It is HARD raising toddlers. But it is also such a gift. And this is not the only phase we have.
I now look forward to the middle. The times I forget exist. The next step on this ride of life as parents. I look forward to looking out the window at my husband playing sports with my boys and finding yet another reason to love him, seeing a new side of him.
Now I have new dreams for the future, dreams for the next chapter.
For now though, I am going to embrace today and all the beautiful obstacles it brings.