The Gift of One of Those Days
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** This post is part of a 14 day series. To read more of my “The Gift of…” posts, scroll to the bottom of this post for links.
It was one of those days.
You know the kind.
Christmas choir concert. Then the Christmas Sunday School Program. Then a Christmas party. Bad roads from the snow and ice the night before. And kids who’d had more sugar in a day than should be probably be consumed in an entire year.
One of those days.
The days where your hands hurt from gripping the steering wheel so hard and your ears are bleeding from the high pitched constant blabbering coming from the back seat and your head hurts because you forgot to eat breakfast before the morning concert and now all you’ve had are Peanut Blossom cookies.
One of those days.
At the Christmas party, we talked about video games and horses and played Bingo and I had to remind my youngest that he wasn’t the main event but he was pretty sure he was. It was just one of those days where I thought his screams and giggles and songs were so much louder than all the other kids’ screams and giggles and songs because as a mother, most days are like that.
Yes. One of those days.
We made it home from the party safely at night to our snow covered cowpath of a road where we went inside our house and the boys bounced off the wall and the furniture—one of them actually commenting wow, I’ve had a lot of sugar.
I really just wanted to snuggle into bed with my Kindle and read a book but I knew the farmboys needed some one-on-one time to survive the sugar rush. So we played Uno Attack (did you know how much noise someone can make during that game?) and looked at old photo albums (lots of noise!) and perused a stack of novels (of which both kids said were dumb until they found My Side of The Mountain and said Mom, why didn’t you tell me this book was in here! and I said I’d mentioned it several times and then they ran away with it…)
But then they came back. And then mom, where are you ticklish? And me denying I was ticklish anywhere.
And then the tickle fight came.
Yes. It was one of those days.
Then I told the boys it was time for bed and my youngest skated across the kitchen floor in his socks and fell and laughed and I had to bust out The Mom Voice to tell him to stop but I ended up laughing uncontrollably.
You know, leftover laughter from all the tickling and too many Peanut Blossom cookies.
Yep. One of those days.
When the boys were finally in bed, I heaved a heavy sigh, grabbed my Kindle and started up the stairs to my own bedroom. My father, who at the time was living with us, had been watching the chaos of the evening.
“You know,” he said to me. “You’re going to look back on these days and miss them.”
And although I wanted to brush off his advice as someone who had forgotten what it’s like to run with little kids all day, I couldn’t.
Because I knew he was right.
You will miss these days.
The reason I knew is because the chaos of the day reminded me of the same way I felt in those very early days of brand new motherhood where I would wake every few hours, bleary eyed and stumbling towards a crying baby who just wanted to eat.
I’d scoop him up carefully, so new to motherhood that I was still sure I’d break him if I handled him wrong. We’d sit in the rocking chair and for 15 minutes I’d nurse him, exhausted, knowing in two hours he’d be hungry again.
Every free moment of quiet I’d fall asleep, but it was never productive sleep. I was sure something would happen if I slept too hard.
I was operating on nothing, my reserves were empty. I was completely sapped, drained of energy, hardly of use to anyone.
One early morning, three thirty am, my son’s squawks woke me again. He cried because he was hungry, and I cried in tired frustration. I sat in the dim light of his nursery, rocking while he ate, and listened to the quiet radio.
And for the first time ever, I heard a song by Trace Adkins—You’re Gonna Miss This.
You’re gonna miss this,
You’re gonna want this back.
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast.
These are some good times
So take a good look around.
You may not know it now,
But you’re gonna miss this.
And I remember thinking, No Trace. You don’t get it. You don’t understand these days. You can’t comprehend this exhaustion and confusion and anxiety and fear and completely consuming exhaustion. Trace, you. don’t. get. it.
But recently I heard that song again. And do you know what?
The song is completely true.
You will miss it.
You do miss it.
What I will also tell you is this: it’s impossible for me to hear that song now without ugly crying.
I cannot get my head around the fact that that little baby who just wanted to eat is now almost a full foot taller than me. And although I remember the chaos and insanity and exhaustion and problems from when he was all of 8 pounds…
…God, do I miss it.
Don’t get me wrong—I love the days we have now. The boys are growing up. Even in cowboy boots with a decent heel, I’m now the shortest person in the family.
But I also miss all the days we no longer have.
Even the days that were one of those days.
This post is part of a 14 day series, written across both sites that I run.
Gift #1 — The Gift of an Open Door
Gift #2 — The Gift of One of Those Days
Gift #3 — The Gift of a Dog’s Friendship
Gift #4 — The Gift of Mess
Gift #5 — The Gift of Our Silence
Gift #6 — The Gift of Routine
Gift #7 — The Gift of Community
Gift #8 — The Gift of Three Things Unsaid
Gift #9 — The Gift of Perspective
Gift #10 — The Gift of Being Real
Gift #11 — The Gift of a Bowl of Corn
Gift #12 — The Gift of Encouragement
Gift #13 — The Gift of Unanswered Prayers
Gift #14 — The Gift of Actually Listening