There was a time when a rainy weekend would drive me crazy.
With last weekend’s weather forecast calling for rain and then some more rain, I figured I was headed toward some mental torture. I tend to get uneasy stuck in the house all day, particularly if the kids are unable to burn off energy.
In fact, when my boys were younger, I would take them to my office and let them run the long halls and play hide and seek. It was good for us to give them a change of scenery and let them stretch their legs a bit. Sometimes I went multiple times a day if the weather was particularly bad.
I got to thinking about that last Sunday morning around 7 when I started to plot out a strategy for watching the Ravens game at home in a certain amount of peace later that day.
I had a couple ideas in mind for the morning, like maybe a beach walk in between rain showers, but I soon enough realized it may not be necessary. It was around 9 a.m. when I realized Beckett was still asleep and Carson had been playing in his room since he woke up.
Soon enough Beckett came stumbling down the steps asking if there was a fog delay or something, mistaking Sunday for Monday. When I reminded him what day it was, he asked about his soccer game, which had already been cancelled, and he seemed excited for a day at home.
A little bit later, I asked Carson if he wanted to get out of the house and run to the grocery store with me. That’s something he is usually game for because he usually gets me for some junk food at the cash register. To my surprise, he shook his head no and ran back upstairs to finish whatever it was he was building in his room.
This marks a huge departure from the norm with both kids. The boys are learning to entertain themselves and seem to enjoy doing their own things by themselves. Most of all they seem to really like being home without anything pressing to do.
As a result, I got to watch a full football game at home with no interruptions. Beckett even came down and watched half of it with me. It was heavenly.
“When days seem like years and years feel like days.”
This pretty much sums up my life. That line is part of a title from one of Robert Brown Fulford’s novels. Another saying, a spinoff of that comment I think, is “The days are long, but the years are short.”
Pam and I had one of those weeks this week when our days were just crazy and hectic. Work is half of it, but the rest is the children and the responsibilities that come with them.
Of course, this may come across as complaining. That’s not my intent. I chose to be a parent and knew what came with it, or at least figured I knew what would come with it.
Actually, I think it’s impossible to predict what being a parent will be like until it happens. There are so many things that happen on a given day and so many unexpected challenges and blessings. Most of them would be impossible to ever predict before becoming a parent.
When I first heard these quotes, which essentially serve to remind us all to embrace the chaotic life as it is today because it will soon be gone, I assumed it was for parents with younger kids. I wrongly figured life would get a little easier once they were out of diapers, could feed themselves, be left alone for 30 seconds without having a panic attack and were toilet trained. Nope, there has been none of that easier life thing in the picture. Those simple obstacles associated with toddlers were replaced by other challenges, which as they get older only seem to get more complicated and difficult to navigate.
Even today with my kids 10 and 8 years old, I think about these sayings. I think they are essentially saying to embrace the “carpe diem” philosophy and embrace it before it’s all gone. It’s a good thing.
I came across an online blog recently from Janie Porter, a stay-at-home mother of three boys under 5 years old, that struck a familiar tone to my thoughts. The blog was in response to someone reminding her “The days are long, but the years are short.”
“Today was long and tiring and thankless and taxing. And the children were needy and misbehaving and far from perfect.
… I promise, there are plenty more days when I’ll want to hear your thoughts about how short the years are.
But today is not one of them.
Because you forgot how long the days really are.
Now please excuse me while I strap a crying baby to my back so I can break up a toddler fight over the Spiderman cup, fold 17 loads of laundry and whip up a gourmet dinner. Spoiler alert: No one will eat it, and I’ll end up microwaving hot dogs at 8:47 p.m.”
Twice this week at night after the back-to-school events, speech therapies, grocery runs, newspaper deadlines, homework help and soccer practices, Pam and I remembered neither of us had dinner.
It was 9 p.m. so we each had a banana with peanut butter.