longing for bed time

a wise person who I can’t remember once said, the two hours before bedtime are actually 8 hours long

a wise person who I can’t remember once said, the two hours before bedtime are actually 8 hours long

I think Joni Mitchell had it right. You really don’t know what you got, until it’s gone. Or rather, it’s almost impossible to know, until it is. Right now, I have two thriving, adorable, precocious, fun loving, know-how-to- dance-to-80’s-music like it’s in their blood, toddlers. They won’t be like this forever. I know this. And yet, I find myself longing for bedtime, from the minute they wake me up in the morning. There’s no shortage of sweet, hilarious and/or heart touching moments throughout the day. But they’re also, you know, human. And their frustrations spill out all over me, to the point where I start to feel like an under appreciated, non-paid employee.

And yet, I know, dear Lord, I know…there will come a day, many days ahead, where I would give millions and move mountains, just to walk in and see sweet, twinkly eyed, little chubby faces, looking at me without any pain or knowledge of the dark. There will come a time, when I would give anything, to walk into my baby girl’s room and squeeze all her sausage-link-limbs, feel her sweet breath on my face and hear her unencumbered, riotous giggles. I’m teary-eyed now, just thinking of the days when I won’t be able to hold that in my arms, breathe it into my soul. But if she wakes up while I’m writing this, I will likely sigh a heavy sigh and wonder when I’ll ever have time to just breathe. Unencumbered.

But I’ll never be unencumbered again. That’s the gift and the drawback, to having little humans, that look to and lean on you, for everything. I can hardly imagine my life before they came along. I have memories of course. But it’s actually hard to call up the feeling of possibility. Of being able to stay up late, knowing that if I couldn’t sleep in, I could at least sleep through the night. Of being able to stop on road trips, anywhere I fancied. Of not worrying about every worst case scenario. Maybe the reason I can’t remember, is because I didn’t actually feel those things at the time. I had all that freedom but I didn’t feel it or really appreciate it. 40 something me, looks at 30 something me and thinks, “Damn, she looked good.” 30 something me, said the same thing about that gal in her 20’s. The grass is always greener. Or it’s plenty green but your insecurities and expectations, won’t let you see it.

People tell me all the time, ‘treasure this time, it goes so fast.’ Well okay, the months and years, really do fly. But the days, they still move like molasses. I think when I’ve moved beyond this phase and I see others with tiny people pulling them in every direction, while spilling all manner of things on them, I will just say, “hold tight to the good stuff, where you can.” Because the truth is, we humans aren’t so good at appreciating what we have. It’s great to practice and I think really good for us too but it’s not always possible to live in the now and be blissed out. Sometimes the now is watching your daughter scrape her pacifier on the floor of a public restroom. That’s not good for anybody. But I’m going to try and linger on the good stuff, for as long as their attention span and mine will let me. Maybe that’s the best I can do and methinks that’s enough.

Jaime Randall