There’s a song by 10,000 Maniacs that reminds me of what’s fading quickly. The song makes me think of all the things I will miss….things I saw for the last time without realizing it. Jessica letting me put a bow in her hair, reading a bedtime story and singing “Lullaby” by Billy Joel, licking people pretending she’s a cat, seeing her toothless grin as she heads into school waving. Shane making masks out of ketchup at dinner, showing everyone “pretty eyes,” donning his Spiderman costume, making sure Blankie is with us wherever we go, screaming curse words on the Tilt-a-Whirl (I may see that one again).
Although I’ve seen those things for the last time, there are things I see now and will see later…Jessica growing into a beautiful young woman inside and out, still sitting on my lap when she gets home, coming up with new affectionate nicknames for me (mostly nice ones), going to her senior prom, graduating high school, going to college. Shane holding my hand in the backseat on the way to school and kissing it when he’s ready to let go, tucking him in at night while singing “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Rock-a-bye, Baby,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” going to mainstream school, playing a team sport.
I know it’s cliche’ but being a parent is the most difficult job in the world and the most rewarding. And, while it’s filled with moments of joy, laughter, beauty, it’s also filled with sadness, frustration and feelings of helplessness. It’s not possible to enjoy every moment, but it is possible to slow down a little and enjoy moments that you can…just in case it’s the last time you’ll experience it.