Blake and I were walking out of the gym the other day and he was taking his sweet time. He wanted to walk down the ramp instead of stepping off the curb. He wanted to use the speed bump as a balance beam. He turned the act of searching for our car into a game.
"Where's our new car?" he asked, saying neeewww car! like the announcer on "The Price is Right". "Is this it?"
"No, it's that one."
"No, that one."
When we got to the car, he stuck his finger into the tailpipe of the sports car next to us. "What are these hoses?"
"Smoke comes out of those," I said, grabbing his chubby hand which was now covered with grease. I had been consciously not rushing. I was okay with all the lingering, but I had reached my threshold and picked him up and put him in his car seat.
"Whheeeee!" he said.
In the midst of this grand adventure of walking through a strip mall parking lot, I felt a quick pang of sadness. I missed Dillon. Turn the clock back 3 1/2 years—before my almost 6-year-old had a little brother and a baby sister on the way and started kindergarten—and you would have found us doing the same thing.
And I thought, wow, it goes by so fast.
As I drove away, I flipped through the Rolodex of memories and wondered if I was as patient with Dillon as I had been with Blake just a few seconds ago. I reasoned that yes, on some days I was. And on others, I wasn't. Much like life today. Sometimes I'm all fa la la la la and others days I'm like hurry up people, let's get a falalalala move on.
Last weekend Blake was standing in the kitchen in nothing but a diaper and an Iron Man helmet. My mother-in-law told my husband to take a picture and my husband said, "We could take pictures of that kid all day." I think people tell moms with young children to enjoy every moment because maybe there's just not an easy way to describe how it feels when the time has passed. They want us to recognize how fleeting it all is, because when we're in the moment (as in trying to get to the car in the gym parking lot) it feels like it's taking forever. They're looking back with perspective.
Memories are selective. When people tell me to enjoy the time of life that I'm in, I usually smile and say something like, "Oh, I know." Because I do know what they're really trying to say. It's just extremely difficult to articulate. There are so many periods of my life that I would do again (and many times I wouldn't dare repeat). If I knew it wouldn't alter the course of the universe or change where I am today, I'd go back to college again, I'd marry Shawn again, I'd have my kids again. I'm not saying I enjoyed every single moment. I'm just saying I'd do it again.
What would you do again?