Thursday, Feb 5
Time is flying by for me right now. The pace at which life is moving is overwhelming. I remember the days when I would wake up with a baby or two or three to take care of and the only thought in my head was, “What are we going to do all day today?” It was a “make it to nap time” then “make it to dinner time” kind of life before any of our children were in school. We would visit friends and go to playgrounds and take walks around the mall in the winter time. Those were the days. With four children in school and a toddler at home, well, we don’t do much “hanging out” anymore. When your schedule for the week is two pages long, and you need two carts to buy groceries, it’s difficult to remember to savor the moments during the day when big kids are at school.
We spent this past Thanksgiving with my family in New Jersey. I love all the old photos my mom has displayed everywhere. One of the photos that caught my eye was of a little Mary in a dress that Mom saved that two of my girls have also worn. The kids loved seeing a picture of me as a little girl wearing the same dress. And it occurred to me: I think time has flown!? Surely my mom must feel the same way. Here I am, the baby of the family, with five babies of my own! Just before Christmas, I received a note in the mail — don’t you just love it when people take the time to send mail? My mom had sent me some old photos of me when I was little and I wanted to share them with you. But first, a thought…
If there is anything I’ve learned from Paul and Ann Coakley it’s to appreciate the present moment and live it to its fullest. A little look back at my childhood is certainly a way to do that. The flurry of activities of my day to day life as a mom of five children can sometimes be all I can see. But someday, when the kids are my age, and they look back at their childhood, I’m certain the activities and school events and carpooling and homework won’t be the things that they cherish. They’ll cherish the stuff we did as a family and the everyday joys of home life. At least that’s what I remember when I look at these photos. I see a little girl who was loved and happy. There is no way around all the business of life with children. It is what it is and as a mom, it’s my job to keep the pantry and fridge and bellies full. It’s my job to drive the children hither and yon for activities. It’s my job to make sure the clothes are clean and the beds are warm. It’s my job to fill out the forms and write the checks and sign the school work and meet the deadlines. And somewhere, mixed up in all the jobs is joy. Somewhere, amidst the running around, there are memories being made. They may not be big events that deserve a page in our scrapbook or a trophy to commemorate them, but they are the stuff that a childhood is made of.
So here’s to enjoying the stuff of life by way of a little Throw Back to the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Have a beautiful, ordinary day!