Why, Yes, That Was Me Crying at the Park This Morning.

“Unseasonably warm” doesn’t quite seem to appropriately describe the weather we’re having right now. It’s January 6, and it’s 70 degrees. 70.

To celebrate, Jack Henry and I hit a local park I’ve been taking my kids to since I had kids old enough to take to the park. Naturally, it was filled with moms and their little ones.

Now, I know I’ve been sentimental of late, and it’s primarily the fault of our old home videos that are being transferred to DVD. My mom is on them, and hearing her voice is just making me miss her like crazy. My kids are little and adorable and I can scarcely remember what it was like to have a houseful of babies like that.

And then I get to the park, and it’s full of moms about 5 years behind me in the parenting game: it seems every mom is there with a preschooler, his toddler sibling, and either a baby in the stroller or one on the way. Seriously. I was the only mom there with one kid, and he was one of the oldest. (Yes, I know, school is in session and when we head to another park later today, it will be filled with moms more like me, with school-aged kids and all.)

Jack is still fun to take to a park, and he likes me to watch and push him on the swing and stuff. But at one point, I sat down near where he was playing and climbing, and surveyed the situation, and I couldn’t hold back the tears. Immediately thankful for my sunglasses and my laziness brilliant foresight of not putting on makeup today, I thought about how some very sweet years have already gone by. And that they were twinged with a bit more sadness than I’d dreamed of, but that’s life.

And then, as a mom chased down a renegade toddler running for his life for the woods (and I realized that I don’t have to do that anymore) I thought of this post on Momestery yesterday that I absolutely loved, and started kinda laughing to myself. Because I have no distorted memory about what those first several years were really like…constant, hard, work. And because I am dying to someday say this, from that post, to a young mom herding her children in the checkout line:

“It’s helluva hard, isn’t it? You’re a good mom, I can tell. And I like your kids, especially that one peeing in the corner. She’s my favorite. Carry on, warrior. Six hours till bedtime.”

So I wiped my eyes, convinced my boy it was time to leave, and we headed home for lunch. And despite completely understanding and agreeing with the post I linked to above, I decided I WOULD carpe diem and do something fun and special that I’m like three years behind the rest of the blogosphere on, and I made him a muffin-tin lunch.

clearly, a 6-opening muffin tin would have been nice for this, but i just spread things out a bit more. we usually don't eat vegetables at lunch, but i thought in this fashion, he might not even blink an eye...

I told him I was doing something fun and cool, and he wanted it to be a surprise so he played away from the kitchen while I prepared it. Here’s his reaction:

You can’t have him. He’s mine.

And I was wrong about him not blinking an eye at the vegetables, but he only commented about the broccoli (which he still confuses with lettuce, but he eats both) and downed the carrots with no questions asked (and also ate a few bites of broccoli/lettuce). When he got up from the table to use the bathroom, he yelled out to me, “Don’t touch any of my beautiful food!”

Today is a good, good day. But there are many that, in the end, I won’t say I enjoyed, and that doesn’t lessen how awesome this parenting experience is.

Carry on, warriors.

19 responses to “Why, Yes, That Was Me Crying at the Park This Morning.

  1. Ugh! This made me laugh and cry. Great post!

  2. I LOVED that quote in the middle!! Sigh. Seriously, as hard and non-stop as those days are with little ones, they are the easier days to parent! No joke. As they get older, the decisions are harder and harder and consequences can be huge. (think teen driver) I definitely worry more now that the boys are older. I like the term ‘warrior’–I totally feel like one! 🙂

    • I feel like we’re already getting a tiny glimpse of where this next “hard” stage of parenting is going…just that issues/discipline we deal with now are so much more likely to be issues of the heart. I’m sure it only gets harder!

  3. Amen, Sistah! I loved that post. I’m all about cherishing every moment, for sure and I am certainly not wishing a moment of my children’s young years away, but I also enjoy bedtime with the best of them and a glass of wine before dinner never hurts, either. 🙂

    I have to say, though, I am totally wanting another baby! This is the part where you need to start praying for my sanity…And maybe my husband. I miss the crazy of infancy. What’s wrong with me?! 🙂

  4. mommysaidaswearword

    This is a great post. It is all flying by, so painfully, gorgeously fast.

  5. Awwww . . . so good . . . & sad . . . & cute!! I’m in awe that JH will eat broccoli/”lettuce”!!!!

  6. What a fantastic post from start to finish. Loved it. The years go so fast, don’t they? I love your muffin veggie idea. I shall pass it along to Julie! Rock on Warrior!

  7. So love this post Nicole! I remember having those same feelings last year when it was still just Genna and I. I was so disappointed when Parkway moved to full day kindergarten!!
    I can’t wait to make that fun lunch for the kiddos…..you always have such cute and fun ideas.

  8. P.S. you made me cry too!

  9. Thanks for this post, Nicole. We have had a rough, rough, week at our house and I am feeling extreme guilt over how some situations were handled. It doesn’t help that now everyone is on there way to Indy and I am in a quiet house by myself over thinking everything. Thanks for the encouragement!!!
    And, JH is just too cute. Loved the video!

  10. I had a similar moment watching my kids decorate the Christmas tree this year. I know in a few short years they won’t want to be bothered by it.

  11. I totally needed to read this today. Thank you so much!

  12. Love your post and the quote. Can totally relate to the tears when I see little ones and realize mine’s not so little any more. Gee, he was/is cute. Gee, it was/is hard. Hunk of bittersweet, that’s what I got.

  13. Nicole, you are just awesome 🙂

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