I've been invited to be part of a fun little photography project. Spilled Milk- is a collaborative photography blog. 18 mothers from around the world are prompted by a weekly theme reflecting some aspect of parenthood and the complexity and beauty that comes with raising our kids. I love looking at these beautiful pictures and thinking about how wonderful and exciting it really is to be a mom.
Some days are hard. Sometimes the screaming and the crying make me want to scream and cry myself. If you have ever had days like this too (and if you never have, well, then I don't think you are human) read this blog post. It made me chuckle out loud to myself. I especially like the part when this parent talks about wanting to hold anyone under water who says, "enjoy every moment! it goes by so fast!" I hope it makes you laugh too... Because we have all heard someone say that. And we are trying to enjoy every moment, we really are! But some days are just plain hard! Because that's what being a mom is. Making a sacrifice for someone you love more than life.
And then there are days like today. Conor and I took our shiny new bikes down to the lake for our first ride! We have been looking forward to getting bikes for some time now! Henry screamed and cried when we forced his Mickey Mouse helmet over his cute dumbo ears and buckled it under his squishy little chin. He somehow managed to get his legs up over his bike sit and kick me in the back during the entire ride. He cried and screamed in the car on the way to the farmers market. While at the market he ran away from us and hit small doggies in the face. We made one last stop at an estate sale on the way home and as Conor bargained for some new furniture I chased Henry all over the front lawn. Tired and out of breath I finally scooped him up kicking and screaming and started towards the house to tell Conor I couldn't take another second when an old man stopped me. I noticed that he had been watching me and as I got closer he said, "that was my favorite part of being a dad! and a grandpa! I loved chasing my kids and grandkids around.." Reliving his past as he watched me chase my crazy Henry around that lawn made this man smile bigger than the moon! It was as if I had taken him right back to the best days of his life. I could see it in his eyes. "My wife and I had 5 kids you know! and chasing them around like that was my favorite!" I said a few polite words and hurried along to find my husband. As we crossed the street to get into our car I saw him helping his cute little old wife down the stairs... no children with them, no grandkids at their heels. Just the two of them. I sat in the car and wept.
Yes these days are hard! and they are long. And sometimes I'm pretty sure the best days of my life were in college when I was wild and free and everyone I lived with was over 21 - and I could sleep under the stars on the beach all night if I wanted to and not have to nurse anyone at 5:30 in the morning if I didn't want to! But when I think of all of this being history ... when I imagine Conor helping me down stairs because I am too old to do it myself, and all of our kids have kids of their own.. my heart aches for these long hard days! And I say a silent prayer that God will somehow make these days last forever. Now, writing this, I question my sanity a little. Because it is hard. But something inside me tells me I will be just like that old man someday. Yearning for the days that my babies were little. Wishing and willing to give up anything to go back to even the hardest day.