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.