In the thick of it

My tiny little lunatics
My tiny little lunatics

On our last vacation with the kids, we were on the beach when one of my kids ran over to play with a child from another family. When I went over to make sure there would be no usurping of toys, I struck up a conversation with the mother.  She had twin girls around 3 years old and we were chatting about the challenges of having little ones. After talking about the beautiful difficulties-she said something I will never forget, ”I like being in the thick-of-it”. Interesting way to describe this fleeting time in my life.  In the thick of it.

That is where I am. I guess I never thought about it that way. With a 4 year-old, a two-year-old and an infant, I am definitely in the thick of it. Sure I know that one day I will have 3 teenagers and a whole new set of challenges, but I really believe that it is my everyday with three small children that I will one day look back on and think, “Wow. How did I do that?” They need me for everything. And they all need different things. Sometimes I feel like there is not enough mommy to go around. (By the way, when I say me I most definitely mean we. I don’t know what I would do without Mr. Right.)

Incessant activity.  My kids don’t give me a break, and I can never clock out. Sometimes at the end of day I think, “Does he really have to sing the “toothbrush tango” everytime he brushes his teeth? Or, Do I really have to gallop down the hall again with her riding piggy back to her room? I’m so tired.” But I listen. And I gallop. Because one day I’ll miss those things.  In fact, if I could go back in time to any point in my life, it would be to that last sentence. I am living the life today that I will one day look back on and long for again. As The 10,000 Maniacs put it so well in their song, “These are the days …you’ll remember. ” I am in the thick of it. And there is nowhere else I’d rather be.

When I feel overwhelmed with this most important job of mothering, I remind myself that the good news is the same as the bad: these days won’t last forever. Today I am making memories that will fill my heart with bitter-sweet joy in the future. Crazy, messy, joyful, loud and full of laughter days that I will want to relive.  So tonight, I smiled and listened patiently to both verses of the “toothbrush tango”, I read an extra story in the Bible, and I galloped so hard I almost bucked her off as she laughed wildly. And I memorized the moment. Tucked away for another day.

I like being in the thick of it.