I think, (and often in my more melancholy moments call), them the Golden Times.
The Old Days.
Back In The Day.
When the world seemed brighter. Everything a bit more smooth, a touch more crisp.
When the days stretched before me long, slow, and plentiful; filled with diapers and kidlet tv, Disney songs and movies, scattered toys underfoot, onsies, and ‘lil guy jeans to fold in tiny stacks.
When nary an electric guitar lived in our house, everyone played outside together after lunch and dinner, and my (carefully prepared) schedule reigned supreme; was never questioned and was universally considered cool.
I have absolutely no idea what happened. Or when the (horrible) transformation began.
But heaven help me they became teenagers.
They (without permission and totally against my deepest, most hidden wishes) began to Grow Up.
And (worst of all) Develop Lives Of Their Own. (Separate from Me).
Believe me there is nothing more pathetic than a devoted mother whose babies children suddenly develop Lives Of Their Own.
When they take all that crap those inspiring ideas of autonomy and self reliance you’ve been espousing all these years to heart and actually fulfill them.
It is a terrible and glorious thing. And if you have children or love a child, and are lucky, it will one fine, gut wrenching day happen to you.
They will develop their own schedule.
(And actually disagree with you when you helpfully, kindly inform them they’ve Done It All Wrong).
They will turn up their nose at the film you’ve planned for Sunday Family Dinner & A Movie.
They will, God help us all, stop listening to the Beatles and blast rap music from their ipods directly into their cute little ears. (Which, thank you Jesus, remain gageless).
And you’ll remember all those old golden times. Amber hued and precious when that one was still a crawler and that one afraid to go downstairs by himself ‘cause basements are creepy and basement monsters notoriously ravenous when it comes to small boys.
And you’ll wipe away a tear, three hundred tears.
You’ll whisper complain to your husband or significant other or best friend and they’ll say what you already know (cause there’s nothing else to say and we all know it’s true):
Well you wanted them to grow up didn’t you? To know their own minds, To be happy and independent?
And you’ll nod, all the while shushing your heart voice. Whisper hollering silent to yourself:
Yes I wanted all that. Want all that. I just didn’t figure on it happening quite so soon…