Sweet Simplicity



“It kills you to see them grow up.  But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t.”  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Yesterday morning, after chatting with one of my dear friends, I found myself wishing nostalgically for “the toddler years”…thinking back to how easy life seemed back then.  There was no school…none that mattered anyway…no homework…no dashing around…no pubescent stress…no impending high school drama…no acne.  Only sticky toddler kisses, potty training and play time. 

Seems like life was much simpler then—or was it?  Maybe I’m having an attack of selective memory.  That happens to me a lot.

Maybe what was simpler was the outlooks of my children.  There were no big, life changing decisions to be made.  Just drawing pictures of stick people—who really weren’t stick people at all. Instead, they were circles with four lines sticking out around the circle and their flat hair drawn oh-so-carefully on top.  Writing stories about happy round stick people.  Happy little stories.  And them saying things like, “See my stick people?  They are happy.”  Lots of “Play with me, Mommy.  Look at what I made, Mommy.  Read to me, Mommy.  What is this, Mommy?”  Slower pace.  Stopping to smell the roses and all that.  Ahh, sweet simplicity.  ::sigh::

They didn’t look beyond that moment.  And I don’t think I did either.  Back when they were 4, the future seemed a long way off.  And now, suddenly, it’s HERE.  The future has snuck up on me and WHACKED me on the head.  It’s daunting.  And it seems like life is so serious all the time.  Boooo seriousness.  Boo stress.  Boo dashing about like a lunatic.

I spent so much time back then wanting to get through the current stage of life.  With the constant, “when they get older, things will be easier” rolling around in my head.  What was I thinking?!  Each stage brings its own set of challenges, stresses—and joys.  It’s funny how I used to want to speed time up and now I just wish we could slow it down.

But I am so easily sucked in by all the hustle and bustle.  Worrying about “getting things done”.  I do try very hard to relish every moment.  Because I think now I realize how fast it all goes by.  I am trying very hard to watch my kids.  I mean, really watch them. Take it all in and slow down a little.  It is not easy.  And it takes conscious effort. 

Because really, even though they might not be saying the actual words anymore, my kids are STILL saying, “play with me, watch me, what is this, Mom”.  I just have pay a little closer attention so I don’t miss it.  And isn’t that the whole point? 




Filed under Lessons

4 responses to “Sweet Simplicity

  1. billy

    I\’m starting to make a conscious effort to pay more attention to my children now, and for the very reasons you\’ve listed. Selective memory? Maybe. My kids are seven and five, and I\’m already starting to long for the "good ol\’ days." Fortunately, I\’m still getting sticky toddler kisses.

  2. Toni

    Aw, so true. It does me well to have an almost teenager to keep me in check when I even start thinking about complaining about the little ones and their constant desire for my attention. Honestly I love it and you are so right on with this post–why is so hard to slow down sometimes?How\’s Jacob feeling?

  3. Kim

    This is so true! I have toyed aound with going part time at work…just to be able to be with the kids more….it would give me only four whole more days off a month..which doesn\’t seem to be much…but it would be devistating to the wallet! How do you make it work? Sacrifices! I know! But it would be sacrificing the things that they love to do…cheerleading, sports, etc…we couldn\’t pay for the things without those four days…so, I work so hard to make those days off awesome! I can\’t wait for summer time…when they will actually be home while I\’m off! I look forward to day trips…playing in the pool…etc. And, maybe, we\’ll finally beat the Dave Ramsey game…be debt free..by the fall and I will go part time! I pray for that day to come! I hate to miss one minute!

  4. Bill

    I know exactly what you\’re talking about, and I keep reminding myself about the same thing (i.e. "dont wish them to grow up too fast"). Sometimes it\’s hard to remember while scraping poop off the side of the toilet or washing puke out of my hair.

I always love hearing from you! :-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s