Monday, November 12, 2012

impromptu family video night

It's a rare Sunday night in our house that ends like last night.

Tonight, after someone suggested watching family movies, we piled on the couch and did. Turns out, it was just what the doctor ordered.

After a weekend full of holding hands a little too tight in church, hovering a little too closely, spending a few too many minutes (hours) watching Disney shows in pajamas, complaining about jobs not done to exact specifications and hating dinner for the millionth night ever, what we needed was a little more together time. 

Right.Yes, it was exactly what we needed.

Tension melted almost immediately when the pudgy cheeks and hoarse voices appeared on the screen. Choruses of 'Remember that toy?' or 'I loved that thing' or  'That was our last Christmas in that house' or 'Where did that hair-beader ever end up?' or 'Where am I? Was I born yet?' (A hair beader? Seriously? If you have to ask, you clearly are not old enough for the truth, dear.)

My thoughts were more along the lines of: 'Was I pregnant then? Did I know it?' or 'What the heck was I thinking with that wallpaper?' or 'I wonder if my butt is the same size now?' (Suffice it to say, hindsight is 20/20 ... and sometimes better when it comes to wallpaper, paint colors. Yes, I probably was pregnant. And, I know the answer to the last question but I'm in the middle of a brownie right now ...)

Most importantly, we all smiled. We laughed. And, yep, I had a few tears in my eyes too.

We laughed about mispronounced words, Halloween costumes worn from October 1 until well into November (but my memory says they wore costumes pretty much all year long), friends who wore buckets on their heads with us while imagining an adventure, birthday girls whose fingers in the cake were an instant memory, and little chubby cheeks --now replaced by big-kid teeth, teenage facial hair, braces and make up.

We've replaced toys, live in a new house, aren't pregnant and we lived without the hair-beader. I realized, during our trip down memory lane, that our memories happen every single day. They're the laughs, the smiles, the tears, the holding hands too tightly, learning to pay attention to some details and be able to overlook some others.

Without a doubt, and somehow almost unconsciously, this has become our life. These children, whose noses never seemed to stop running when they were small and whose mouths seem only to open for food now. This man, who could simultaneously hold a video camera perfectly still and catch snot oozing out of a two-year old's nose, without losing a step. (It was impressive.)

Luckily, he's a lot got more going for him that that, but I was impressed at how quick we were.
We were quick, because that's what parenting little people requires -- a quick step, a hand with ready with a tissue, a smile, a dust-off, a cheer, a smooch on the cheek, a hug around the neck.

We're not old (at least we don't think we are) but parenting doesn't seem to require such quickness of our feet any longer. Now, it seems, I find myself holding back more, keeping quiet, wondering how many times I'll have to ask them to bring dirty dishes in from the family room, listening to them express opinions, waiting for a call to pick them up, staying up later than I think is possible (if for nothing more than to make sure the lights are off -- back to the learning details thing).

Maybe it's because I can feel these days slipping through our fingers. Twenty days until Christmas in a family video with a three and two year old was an eternity. Seven weeks until Christmas will pass in a flash with the schedules that we keep now.

Ultimately, it was a good time to remember, laugh and refresh. It was also a good reminder to capture some more of those memories.


Carol Sc said...

Wonderful evaluation of family time and raising children --- we are now watching the same process in grandchildren and have an appreciation for the challenges that parenting requires. The "snot" thing gave me a good grin --- and I still have that fast hand!

Alison said...

So much of this rang true and yes the snot thing too. My daughter had a constant runny nose, something that appalled me before I had children. And now I too am constantly asking for mugs and plates to be brought down from bedrooms. And the picking up late and the way 7 weeks doesn't seem like enough time but 16 years ago it was forever (and daunting). Thanks so much for the reminder.