I was driving to and from Noah’s film club meeting, Olivia’s horseback riding lessons, and Chiara’s competition ballet-tap-jazz class yesterday — and squeezing in some much-needed raking during the “spare” minutes at home in between –when I started to get that overwhelmed, woe-is-me feeling. I was heading down the same road for the third time in less than an hour, wondering how we had reached this tipping point.
As I pulled onto the long gravel road leading to the stables to wait for Olivia’s lesson to end, Natalie Merchant started singing “These Are Days,” and suddenly I could feel tears forming out of nowhere. Not tears of frustration or desperation, but tears of sudden realization. Tears of gratitude for what I know is a blessing, as difficult as it can sometimes feel.
These are the days
These are days you’ll remember
Never before and never since, I promise
Will the whole world be warm as this
And as you feel it,
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
In a flash I went from fragmented to full, fast-forwarding to some day down the road when my children no longer need me to cart them around or read the stories they make up or take them on a camping trip.
I remember when Noah was a toddler, and people who were parenting teens at the time would tell me to savor the terrible twos because adolescence was going to make it look like a cake walk. And they were right. And now, when I complain about a house cluttered with toys and book bags and school papers, those same parents remind me that in a few short years my house will be quiet and clean, and I will long for the days of clutter and confusion. And I have no doubt they will be right again.
These are days to remember, even when I want to forget.
Here’s Natalie to sing us out. Have a great weekend, and remember to savor the moments, even the ones that make you crazy.