You know you’re in for a great day when your youngster greets you with, “Hey Mommy. Remember a hundred years ago when you…” I would prefer “Good morning” but that is rare in these parts. Then again, I am should be getting used to the unusual salutations. Most often I hear, “What’s for breakfast?” Or “What can I eat?” With an occasional, “Can we eat yet?”
I do remember what seems like a hundred years ago, when they would climb into bed with me and fight over who gets to be between Mommy and Daddy. Back then we were called Ma Ma and Da Da.
A hundred years ago they were small enough to stay where I put them. If I left the room I knew where I could find them. The biggest trick they could do was switch bottles, making me think everyone had their fill when really one had guzzled and stole the other’s bottles. No wonder they are always asking what they can eat.
It seems like a hundred years ago when they were learning to crawl, beginning to speak, and throwing their food. Now they run and hide, yell and argue, and simple refuse to eat, or beg for something better.
Maybe it’s just me, but I often measure my work as a parent by the way my children behave. Watching my children grow not only makes life go by faster, but also boldly displays all my bad habits. They mimic and copy my every thought it seems. How many times have others thought they wish the kids would leave that secret at home?
Once in a while I will see them and wonder where they learned something. Before I know it, it will be another hundred years since I watched them offer to help a friend stand up after they had fallen, or give the penny they found at the playground to someone else because “they have a piggy bank.” Am I that generous and thoughtful? I doubt it.
I hope in a hundred years I will be able to remember how frustrated they made me when they were late for school and just stood there. I was getting ready to yell, “Hurry up! You’re late! What are you waiting for?!?!” Fortunately the window wouldn’t roll down before I saw they grab hands with the slowest sibling and run in together.
Once again, patience is a virtue and waiting for a moment proves to shine light on a situation. My being forced to pause changed the tension in the air from what could have been distressing for my children to a warm glow in my heart. Not only that they would care enough for each other to make sure everyone was coming, but they took each other by the hand and ran together.
Today I am praying for the patience to wait and see if the situation truly is what I think it is, and hoping that next time I am asked to remember a hundred years ago I will remember it fondly.
(For the record, Lily was remembering the last time I gave her a haircut. I gave her another one this week.)