Remember when you were a parent for the first time and all these other older and more experienced parents would look into your exhausted blood shot eyes and tell you to "enjoy it while you can, it goes by so fast"..and you forced a smile and nodded, secretly wishing they'd keep their well formed non-sleep deprived thoughts to themselves? Yeah well I remember that- vaguely.
Here I am 7 years later looking back and wondering how I could have enjoyed it more. I see my oldest child, her baby teeth are gone, her smile transformed forever. I miss her chipped tooth grin. My son still has all of his baby teeth so I'm taking lots of pictures of him, because any day now he's going to run into the kitchen to tell me one is loose and I am going to smile as enthusiastically as I can and congratulate him, while inside I'll hold onto the memory of those teething nights where he snuggled me so close latched on for hours.
I'm looking at pictures of friends from high school on facebook and I'm always shocked that they are adults now. Crap, I'm an adult now. Here we are crowsfeet and grey hairs for all to see. I am my mother as I remember seeing her so many years ago. I am suppose to be all knowing, the epitome of all that is adult in my children's eyes...
I am more aware then ever that life is short, I am looking at my parents thinking about how small our age gap seems now.
There's a double edged sword when it comes to this realization. We want to cherish our time, but it becomes too easy to cling to it instead. Family trips become about experiencing everything together, building memories doing as much as possible, so that we can all have these lasting images. This of course leads to frustration when things don't work out as planned or when our children don't seem to love doing the things we loved doing as children. Then at the same time I feel like I want to do nothing but save money for our future so that one day we can travel somewhere really cool and far away.
I'm trying to grow with this realization. I'm trying to find a balance. Building good memories, planning for the future, remembering the past and slowing time down just a little bit.
This time in my life is not all sweet sorrow, it's also motivating. I'm seeing now that my life is precious and short. I'm going to go for what I want. I'm going to work where I want. I'm going to be unapologetically myself (which according to my spell check unapologetically isn't a word, and nope I am not sorry for using it.) . I'm going to wear sundresses to work, have my fingernails done by the best manicurist in town (my 7 yrold). I'm going to sing and dance on the street with my little boy. I'm going to live where I want to. To quote some inspiring people: I'm going to live the whole catastrophe and be furiously happy about it.
Truth is, no matter what age group I am in, my life is short, but it is mine and I intend to have it reflect the awesomeness that is me.