I started thinking about the kids today. Not that I don’t think about them all the time, but, well, several things came into play. For one, I have an iTunes gift card on my account, and no music is jumping out at me to go get it. That’s breaking my heart.
So browsing iTunes, I saw Darius Rucker in my “ping” (whatever that is), and it reminded me of his song, “It Won’t Be Like This for Long”. I so totally love that song because it serves as an accurate reminder that my teenagers upstairs are working their way out of the house. One’s anxious to go, and the other has no idea he’ll ever have to leave, but I suspect his world view will change when his big brother is gone. The song reminds me to appreciate every minute I get with them because, literally, it won’t be like this for long.
I especially like how the man in the song imagines the day he walks his little girl down the aisle, but then he stops and remembers, “But for now she’s up and crying.” I so miss those days. I’m still Mommy once in a while, but it’s usually Mom. With the oldest at 15, I’m probably closer to being Grandma than I am to the day when I became a mother. Oops; was that another gray hair popping out?
But while it thrills parents to watch their children grow, they have to accept that at the very same time, they’re aging. I’m 43; I’ll be 44 in a few weeks. (Hell, a few days.) I’m never going to be 20 and innocent and excited by everything ahead of me. So much more is behind me. I’m probably more than halfway through this trip.
Something today got me thinking about dying, and the words echoed in my head, “I’m not ready to go yet.” There’s SO much more out there I want to do. It’s not as if, should (God forbid) the Angel of Death visit me tonight, I’ll whine about all the stuff I haven’t done yet. I’ve done a lot. I’ve had a really good time. There’s more I’d like to do, but if I had to go tonight, I think I’d be okay. I’ve done what I set out to do. I fell in love, I brought children to this planet, I wrote a book. A few, in fact.
As I’m sitting at the computer typing this, I’m hearing my oldest laughing his butt off in his room. No idea what he’s laughing at, but it’s a nice sound. It’s peaceful to me to know he’s happy.
I also realized tonight that I’m not doing enough for him. I’m performing basic maintenance, but I’m not teaching him. I’m not pushing him to find out what he’s going to need to know before he goes out on his own. Not that I’m an expert on much of anything, but I know things that he might need to know some day. Time to get started on that.
You never know.
Oh, and right after the Darius Rucker song ended, the youngest’s favorite song came on. We always make a game out of it. It’s the Bob Rivers’ Twisted Christmas version of “The Twelve Pains of Christmas”. We’ve heard that song so many times, we know every word, every inflection, until we make each other laugh by singing the lines. Great memories, there. I hope they take those memories with them. My grandmother had knitting as her bridge to immortality. My Mom…I’ll have to think about her bridge, but I think a lot of it has to do with curiosity, learning and laughter. I hope my bridge to immortality makes the boys smile when they think of me. That’s the best I can hope for.