So my dear friend who was a colleague of mine years ago posted this graphic on her Facebook wall. Lately, I swear all of her posts are my life at the moment! How come nobody ever tells you just how drastically different your life will become once children enter the picture. Maybe I should write a “tell-all”..
But I digress.
I try so hard to remember what it was like when I was single and kid-free. I woke up when I wanted, when to bed when I wanted, prepared whatever dinner I wanted without any regard for anyone but myself. And if I didn’t want to prepare a meal, I just hopped in my car and went out to eat. Easy peasy.
If I wanted to hang with my girlfriends we just got together, even if it was a spur of the moment. If I wanted to go on a date I just made plans and that was it. If I needed to run a quick errand I just got into my car and off I went. Clearly all of those things were seriously taken for granted.
Now. Now life is VERY different.
Every adventure needs to be planned. Date night – what’s that! I’m pretty much a short order cook every night. And it takes at least 3-6 months to plan a few hours out with my girls… on a weekday. Quick run to the grocery store or post office…uhm…excuse me? I don’t spend less than 1 hour in a grocery store even if I am just grabbing some jelly, bread, and coffee.
But here’s the deal. I think it’s so hard to remember what it was like because that’s not who I am – not really. Of course I’m still Tina. That hasn’t changed. But what has changed is the priorities in my life. It’s not just about me anymore. It’s about those little creatures I brought into this world and making sure they learn right from wrong. That I teach them the life skills they will need to become contributing adults in society. And what does that mean?
That means me going through all the trials and tribulations of spending an hour in the grocery store. It means date nights are far and few between (actually pretty non-existent), and that I better make sure I get everything on my list while we are out and about.
But it also means I am blessed. I have two children of my own. I can take advantage of every situation and turn it into a learning experience. And I learn from them. I have the advantage of seeing the world through their eyes. I can find joy in the little things like learning to ride a bike without training wheels or sounding out and spelling a word correctly. There are so many people in the world who LONG for their life to be completely disrupted as mine has been.
So, I guess the long and short of it is this. Cherish every moment. Every moment as a young teenager, single adult, parent, and grandparent. Every moment that gets you down because you always rise back up. Every moment that challenges you because it is shaping you for what’s to come. Every moment that doesn’t go quite right because it is making you think of different ways to handle it. And every moment as a parent that it takes you literally 25 minutes to strap a screaming, bull-headed, strong-willed child into her carseat to drive 30 seconds to the grocery store to spend an hour inside.