Babies grow up in a flash. A FLASH. Trust me. Two of mine are grown, two are still babies (yes, 5 and 7 are still babies), and one of mine has a baby of her own. A FLASH. I was reminded of this tonight, this whole week actually.
My baby, from the first set, came to visit. She brought her baby who I don’t see nearly enough. I loved my time with them. LOVED. But I heard myself scolding the “kids” for holding the door open too long. You know, electric bill and all. I heard myself telling them to close the toilet. I heard myself stressing over them leaving the shower curtain open. Stressing over the chairs they didn’t push in. Sure, I showed them love and affection while they were here, but I stressed the small stuff. The stuff I’ve stressed my whole life. Because, you know, “perfect” is the only answer.
Then, as I watched them leave, as we said our goodbyes? I felt the meltdown. Ugly tears. Heartfelt, painful, ugly tears. I wished I hadn’t stressed over the open toilet seats. I wished I hadn’t cared about the shower curtains. I could have just pushed the chairs in without grunting. I wished I had just focused, for the ENTIRE time, on the happy. You see, I was reminded of the Darius Rucker song, “It won’t be like this for long“, and the ugly tears flowed just a little harder. IN A FLASH, your babies grow up. They have babies of their own. You’re left wondering WHY in the EFF you sweated the small stuff. And still you sweat it.
The pain I felt as my baby, with her baby, drove away tonight, all the way back to Georgia? I can’t even put into words how much it hurt. I can’t put into words how much I HATE that I sweated some of the small stuff while she was here. Over the past 19 years actually. I just long to have my baby, and her baby, with me, without the small stuff and sweating anything as insignificant as a toilet seat.
I need to appreciate all of the NOT SO SMALL STUFF in my life, like beautiful children, a loving husband, an adorable grandbaby, and say EFF the open toilet seats. Tonight? Tonight, I change. I’ll sit here worrying (you can’t change that) until my baby gets “home” but I’m going to let go of some of my ridiculous tendencies and realize that the “babies” that are still left at home need me to just enjoy them. Enjoy them every second of every day, despite the small offenses. I can close the toilet seats. I can close the shower curtains. I just want them here for as long as I can protect them. And I want to enjoy them.
I will enjoy them. And I’ll hold my breath until the very second I see each and every one of my babies again when I can close whatever they open, without complaint. It’s just a thing and they won’t be like this for long.