What I’ll Miss [The Draft Collection*]

(Posts I started but didn’t quite finish. Because my mother needs something to read…..from November 2011)

‘Are we really going to miss these times?’ a friend wondered aloud after we commiserated about the challenges of living with small children.

It’s something I think about often, because as soon as you bring a baby home from the hospital, people start imploring you to ‘enjoy these times, they go by so fast.’ And when you’re not sleeping, or you spend your days wandering in a zombie-like state putting ice cream in the microwave instead of the freezer; trying to have meaningful conversation with a screaming baby or an adamant toddler, it’s sometimes difficult to discern what you’d miss about these years.

I spent some time cleaning the basement one November morning, when the older boys were in school. When I looked up from where I was kneeling on the floor, trying to organize toys, I noticed a couple of action figures clinging to the pendant lights’ electric cords. There was no doubt in my mind the Gort had stuck them there during one of his imaginative play sessions. I laughed. Out loud.

I will miss finding their toys in bizarre locations when they’re all grown up; past the age of amusing themselves with superheroes and Lego.

Somehow, I worked up the courage to sort through the mountain of kid ‘art’ we’ve amassed in the last couple of years. The pieces I couldn’t bear to throw away. I’d had the presence of mind to record the name of the artist and sometimes even the date on some of their masterpieces. But several were anonymous. And several were…terrible. Think amorphous watercolor blobs where the colors all bled together to produce an ugly brown. I can’t fathom the boys would want the brown blobs from their early toddler years.

But the robots? And the volcanoes exploding with lava? And the army tanks? And the drawing-cards signed with ‘I love you mom’?

I will miss watching those boys sit around the table, drawing and painting and cutting paper whilst making bizarre sound effects.

[And I will miss their newfound habit of running around the house, shirtless.]

Percy is going through a bit of a reading kick at the moment. He pretty much wants to read ‘The Bear Snores On‘ and ‘Peekaboo‘ and ‘Blue Train, Green Train’ all day long. And I love it and think of all the time I spent with the Gort reading his favorite books. (Dear Zoo, Hand Hand Fingers Thumb, and Cars and Trucks and Things that Go.) Followed by a heavy dose of mother’s guilt because I don’t remember the Hen’s favorite books from when he was 2. I had a newborn and a Kindergartener who needed to be dropped off and picked up – I didn’t spend a ton of time sitting on the couch reading with him that year.

I will miss sitting on the couch or the armchair and reading book, after book, with these boys, hearing them demand ‘Nother one!’ ‘The End!’

And watching these boys share books with each other – the Gort patiently reading to the Hen, and the Hen ‘reading’ to young Percy – priceless.

5 thoughts on “What I’ll Miss [The Draft Collection*]

  1. You’re so right about the toys and running around shirtless, Bo would wear shorts, just shorts, everywhere if we let him…

  2. I miss those days of Hand Hand Fingers Thumb and God is Bigger Than the Boogie Man. But I love reading about them and yes, I always need something to read!

  3. What a warm fuzzy post Nicola…sounds like you are only a few months of good sleeps away from approaching a mom with a 5, 3 and newborn in a grocery store and telling HER to treasure the small years!!

  4. Yes, the ‘self-talk’ has a way of driving me insane. But I’ll probably reflect on it fondly some day. In the distant future. Erin, there is of course a ‘What I won’t miss’ post. But I’m not sure it’s safe for public consumption. Scott, I haven’t yet understood this need to be constantly shirtless, but frankly there’s not a lot I understand about the people who share my domicile!

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