Monday, July 18, 2011

You're going to miss this

I'm sure I won't surprise anyone when I say that mothering small children is hard. 

As my nine year old would say, "Duh, Mom."

There are the times you've been up all night for so many nights in a row that you don't know what it would feel like to sleep for more than two hours in a stretch.  There are times when you're covered head to toe in someone else's bodily fluids and there are times where the noise level in your home rivals that of a jet engine at takeoff.  There are times where your doctor and prescription copays roughly equal your grocery budget for the month as well as times where you're so buried in laundry and housework that you think it might be easier to just firebomb your house to the ground and start over.

 Inevitably, when I'm ready to resign from motherhood forever and run away to the nearest tropical island, someone tells me: "Just wait. You'll miss this someday when your kids are grown and gone."  There's been a great discussion going on over on Steph's blog about this very thing.   She mentions this quote by President Monson:

“If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly.”
Every time I read this quote or hear someone say anything resembling "You're going to miss this," I alternately want to laugh or shake them.  What am I going to miss?  Being so exhausted that I can't think straight?  Feeling like my head is going to explode when my girls are singing the latest stupid song at the top of their lungs?  Sweeping Cheerios, dead grass, clumps of dirt and who knows what off my kitchen floor three times a day?  I honestly don't think I'll miss any of those things.

I've been thinking about this idea a lot the past few days.  Here's what I've decided: First, when President Monson says "You will miss them profoundly" I really think he's talking about the children and not the fingerprints and dirty laundry.  I am not at all attached to the dirty laundry or the toys that seem to multiply and scatter everywhere.  Second, I'm thinking that I'll probably miss more about having young kids than I realize.

I'll miss Ian's light up the room smile every time he sees me, even if I've only been gone for two minutes.

I'll miss Max's crazy head of curls, because I know it's only a matter of time before he'll want it cut short.

I'll miss Ashlynn reaching up to  hold my hand when we go running errands.

I'll miss my talks with Abby on the forever longs drives to violin and back.

I'll miss kissing the soft cheeks of my little boys, and blowing kisses on their tummies to screams of giggles.

I'll miss rocking and nursing a baby.  There are no words for how peaceful and contented it feels to have a baby fall asleep in my arms or over my shoulder.

I'll miss cuddling with my little boys and watching them close their eyes as they fall asleep.
I'll miss messy faces,

and even messier hair.

I'll miss watching my my girls take such joy in making their little brothers laugh, reading to them, or playing silly games.

I'll miss how a $20 wading pool can keep everyone in the neighborhood happy for hours on end, and I'll miss the squeals of joy when they jump into a pool full of cold water from the hose.

I'll miss watching Ian trying to eat the cat, the basketball, and most recently, Dad's head as he was riding on his shoulders.

I'll miss handsome boys and beautiful girls dressed in Sunday best.

I'll miss my kids dressed in whatever they manage to find around the house, and how Max is convinced that the only true pair of flip flops is a mis-matched pair of flip flops.

I'll miss how Max says "Fip Fops."

I'll miss little boys splashing in the bathtub together, and lifting them out of the bathtub, clean, fresh, warm, and smelling like baby shampoo.

I'll miss finding random pictures on my cell phone.

I'll miss bedtime stories and endless repetitions of all things Mo Willems.

I'll miss ice cream covered faces.

I'll miss infectious baby giggles, and how once you get a baby giggling, you'll do all you can to keep them giggling.  I love how when the girls hear Ian belly laughing, they'll come running from wherever they are in the house to see what is so funny.

I'll miss Sunday afternoon walks, games of UNO with the girls after the boys go to bed, and our weekly batch of chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.

I'll miss being able to fix the bumps, bruises and various owies with a kiss, some cuddles, and a bandaid.

I already miss the tiny newborns snuggled up right underneath your chin, with their impossibly small clothes, and their fingernails barely big enough to see.

I'll miss them looking to me with their eyes full of trust, as if I have all the answers and can make all the problems go away.

I'll miss the milestones: the rolling over, crawling, walking, riding a bike, the sheer wonder in discovering the world for the first time.

I'll miss the girls coming to cuddle up right next to me while we're watching a movie or reading scriptures.

I'll miss Max climbing up on my lap and asking "More tickles?"

I'll miss the crazy, rambling stories the girls tell.

I'll miss hours and hours spent at every park in our town, and how all it takes it 20 minutes on the swings and slides to turn the day around.

I'll miss Ashlynn's letters and drawings left on my bed, in my drawers or on the refrigerator saying "I love you Mom!"

I'll miss watching my kids turn into people with their own personalities, likes and dislikes, dreams and goals.

I'll miss watching my kids interact with, take care of, and love each other.

So maybe I won't miss the piles of dirty dishes, the endless trips to the pediatrician, or the mountains of laundry.  (Will those ever really go away?)  But maybe President Monson was on to something.  Because I think there are a lot of things I will miss profoundly.

What will you miss the most?


  1. Funny--when I read the quote I just take comfort in the fact that one day the fingerprints, laundry, and piles of toys will one day disappear.

    And remember--grandchildren!! They come share some of this for a while and then leave. Or we can visit at their house :)

  2. I will definitely miss my four-year-old's blessing on the food, "bless the food to nourishen our bodies." It is my favorite. And Amen to all of what you said. My oldest being eight, I'm already missing the things he used to do and say when he was little. I will definitely miss the innocence of little children.


    Awesome post my friend. Awesome.

  4. Lovely. Maybe you'll read this post when you're old and cry. :)

  5. Too many things to name. I am crying because I read Steph's post and then yours. I already DO miss my kids. I miss my two year old Sophia and my three year old Chloe and my five year old Bria. It kills me to look back at pictures because I just ache for them. But of course, I'll miss the way they are now. It just makes me feel like I squander so much of my time with them worrying about petty stuff.

  6. This is most excellent.

    Do you want to know about the laundry? Because it's like this: The clothes are bigger. This, the loads do not diminish. But when you're lucky, the dirtiness is less gross. The end.

  7. This is a good reminder, especially when I have no more patience with Owen because I'm so uncomfortably pregnant.

    I think we will miss this and it's good to be reminded of that so we can treasure the simple little things:)

  8. This is a beautiful post. From a mid-forty mom to three and grandma to one, I know that you WILL miss all of that. I crave for those times back. Now I'm going through all those same emotions with a precious granddaughter who lives far away. We, women, all have mother hearts whether we have our own children/grandchildren or not and that is a good heart to have.

    I know young mother's get really, really tired of hearing this but enjoy the moments. But, I thought having little ones around was sweet and precious, just wait until they are teenagers. I seriously love having 2 teenage boys right now. Best. time. ever.

    (sorry for a long comment about something I feel so strong about :)


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