There are a good many things that make me feel old these days.
Saying things like “a good many” for one. A newfound interest in birds, for another. The fact that half the voters in the 2020 election don’t remember a time when McDonalds had twist cones.
But nothing makes me feel older than the sudden awareness of just how quickly time is passing.
Notice I didn’t say “it goes so fast,” because if there is one thing I hate hearing, it’s that. There’s nothing worse you can tell a young mother with anxiety. I know how fast it goes, trust me. I blinked and my newborn was 5, and now all I can think about is how in 3 1/2 years we’ll be halfway done having her under our roof. Unless I have my druthers and our kids live with us forever. (See, I said druthers, I’m old.)
There’s nothing I can do to stop the velocity of time, so I’ve done the only thing I can do — try living each day completely in the moment. Like it’s my last.
The only problem with that is that no one in their right mind would choose to do laundry on the last day of their life, which eventually leads to this:
Even Pippa looks terrified of that laundry mountain.
Another problem is that no one would diet on the last day of their life, which means I eat in a way that could very well make today the last day of my life.
This morning as I was laying out my sweatpants for an easier outfit change immediately upon re-entering my home, my kids were engaged in a chorus of their favorite song, “Mom.” They don’t sing it as much as they yell it, in rounds. The result is that the word “Mom” is almost constantly ringing in my ears at a pitch that only dogs should be able to hear. In that moment I thought about another least-favorite platitude of mine, the “you’re going to miss these days” one. Am I?
There will be parts of this stage I’ll miss greatly. The fact that all my kids are safe under my roof every night. The cuddles and sticky lollipop kisses. The fact that they want me around.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not okay to sometimes loathe how much they want me around. I mean I would occasionally like to shave my legs without company. It’s okay to look forward to the day I get the flu and can actually rest quietly instead of having to wipe butts and referee fights with a 104 degree fever.
My point is, if you’re prone to these platitudes, I get it — it’s an easy thing to say to young-ish Moms and sometimes you’re just making conversation. But maybe next time try adding “you’re doing a great job” or “here take my massage certificate, I’ll take your kids home and fold your laundry.” I mean, just a for-instance.