As most parents with small kids do, I am always ‘almost tripping’ over all sorts of toys that have been scattered about the house. Stuffed animal on the stairs, Littlest Pet Shop figures on the bathroom floor, stray Baby Einstein DVDS- their cases having gone missing months ago- strewn all over the living room, waiting for me to crack them in half with one poorly placed step.
This morning I almost tripped and fell on the way into the bathroom. My kneejerk was to scream out, “MOTHERFUCKER!!!!”…then I thought better of it (much as I am cool with cussing, I try not to do it in front of the girls) and so instead I decided to yell, “AAALLLLVIN!!!!” But that was only because we had just seen the movie version of Alvin and the Chipmunks a few weeks ago. The girls would have thought I was just goofing on the movie so I decided not to, as I didn’t want them to think leaving their stuff all around was ok.
But amid the annoyance and anger, it occurred to me how amazingly lucky I am. How amazingly lucky to even be in a situation where I could have almost tripped over some toys that would not even be in my house had I not had kids.
I have kids.
And I’m one of those people who WANTED to have kids. And- by the grace of whatever it is that you think is out there- I actually got them. And it really is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
And so tripping over toys, or waking up at 3am to take care of my youngest who has the croup (which I did last nite), or taking my oldest to the circus when I’m really not in the mood to go (which I did today) are all things that- when I stop to think- are things that I am so grateful I get to experience. These experiences, these memories are some of the greatest treasures of my life and to be aware that these things are indeed treasures WHILE I are in the midst of raising my kids- versus years later when, in some ways, it's sort of too late- well, for that, I am blessed and I am grateful.
I was taking the trash out the other day and both my girls were ‘helping’ me wheel the cans to the curb. I ran into a neighbor who was packing up his car and he looked a little shell shocked. I don’t know him all that well, but he’s always friendly. I waved, he waved. Then he pointed at my girls and said something to the effect of, “Enjoy it man, goes by so fast…”
And he would know.
Because on that very morning he was in the process of loading up his car with luggage for his 18 year old daughter (he has two girls as well) who would be- a little later that day- heading off to her first year of college.
And I was so grateful for that moment, because it was like God/The Universe/The Angels/a Random Firing In My Brain That Has No Spiritual Aspect To It At All was tapping me on the shoulder and reminding me that I have been given a gift. And even though it’s so incredibly easy to forget- when all the day to day chores of being a parent are crashing down around you- the reality is: it is a gift.
Those gifts are- finally!-sleeping in the room next to me as I type this. And I am grateful for the silence in the house.
But a small part of me is hoping they will wake me up again at 3am just so I can hang out with my girls a little bit more :)