I am not sure how it happens - my husband's slight hoarder personality, the lack of time, boxing to throw out papers that need time to actually get sifted - but somehow periodically I have a bit of a meltdown and start to purge the ever growing kid homework, bills paid, toys piles. It feels great. This must be done with the stealth of a Mission Impossible moment - drop down from ceiling, eliminate items, make sure the Chaos corp (my 2 sons and husband) never know you were there...tannnana tanannan ta na.....(bad attempt at the MI music).
As I was doing this the other day I came across 2 wonderful boxes of pictures -- from back in the day when I was actually getting so many more printed than I currently am. This leads to the dilemma I face to declutter I keep pics on my laptop, unprinted but available, but I worry about losing laptop info ...cloud still does not inspire total confidence but do not want to add to what is supposed to be a job of cleaning out. These boxes that I had were filled with pics in clear plastic sleeves, pics that I have deemed the memories I could not be without. Yes they are also the pics that I swore I would put in albums with cute captions - someday.
I think what struck me immediately was that those adorable, toothless smiles looking up at me from the baby cheeked faces were those of my boys who are now losing teeth here and there and who have lost all cherub like qualities. I remembered the smells of their necks, that soft powdery smell that they seem to have even when you do not use powder on them. The soft rolls in various places that just required stroking of that incredibly soft skin. I looked at those pics and sat back...they are only in pictures now these baby boys.
I blinked and these boys shot past those moments to their present state -- on a course that is rapid. I applaud the confidence they have as they tackle the world as if there is nothing they can't do but remember when their eyes, cries and chubby hands sought me as the sole source for helping do whatever they could not.
I am not a baby person, they are cute (for the most part), but I enjoy my boys more as I had to change diapers less. There is no running to offer to hold your child from me...I will smile and help if you ask but compared to other women I know it does not pull at the heartstrings to have another upon seeing one. Yet as I looked at those pictures and remembered holding these little guys it made me a little sad that they were growing so fast.
It is easy to get sucked into work, homework, meal making, laundry, working, pick up and drop offs because they need to be done but it is so important to remember to put on the brakes and maybe watch a tv show that makes you wonder how on earth they enjoy the simplistic nature of it, to skip the dishes while they are awake and spend time listening to them, to breathe in and out as you help with homework because they are just as tired as you are and most of all to tell them how much you love being their parent. They too will blink, as I have realized with my mother, when did she slow down and get so much older than I remember?, and wonder the same about you. It is hard to balance the need to let go and the desire to hold on...my compromise is to hold them as often as I can so that the memories we have as they speed past me will be filled with those moments that will make me smile as we 3 close our eyes and think back upon them.