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?