Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Reminder

One day I will edit the photos of Peyton hating the camera on Christmas morning and post them, but for now I saw this on Clover Lane and had to share. As we gear up to totally remodel the house to accomodate baby girl, I sometimes find myself wondering, why are we doing this again?! Here's a nice reminder:

From an Erma Bombeck Column:


A young mother writes: "I know you've written before about the empty-nest syndrome -- that lonely period after the children are grown and gone. Right now, I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry and muddy boots. The baby is teething; the boys are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat without him, and I fell off my diet. Lay it on me again, will you?"

OK.

One of these days, you'll shout, "Why don't you kids grow up and act your age!"
And they will.


Or, "You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do ... and don't slam the door!"
And they won't.


You'll straighten up the boys' bedroom neat and tidy -- bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on the shelves. Hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you'll say out loud, "Now I want it to stay this way."
And it will.


You'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you'll say, "Now, there's a meal for company."
And you'll eat it alone.


You'll say: "I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?" And you'll have it.


No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti.
No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms.
No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps.
No more clothespins under the sofa.
No more playpens to arrange a room around.


No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent.
No more sand on the sheets or Popeye movies in the bathrooms.
No more iron-on patches, wet, knotted shoestrings, tight boots, or rubber bands for ponytails.


Imagine. A lipstick with a point on it. No baby sitter for New Year's Eve. Washing only once a week. Seeing a steak that isn't ground. Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.


No PTA meetings.
No car pools.
No blaring radios.
No one washing her hair at 11 o'clock at night.
Having your own roll of Scotch tape.


Think about it. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste.
No more sloppy oatmeal kisses.
No more tooth fairy.
No giggles in the dark.
No knees to heal, no responsibility.


Only a voice crying, "Why don't you grow up?"


and the silence echoing, "I did."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

don't wish your life away... I did and the only time I really enjoy it is on nights like tonight when I'm sick and need quiet. I wanted a nice clean orderly life (well, I don't have that anyway), but I'd give almost anything to have my baby girl back. Life is not bad, don't get me wrong, but it will never be the same either. Enjoy your children and pray they never move far away...m

tamara said...

Okay... that made me laugh out loud and want to cry at the same time. And it makes me glad I played Scrabble with David tonight instead of folding the load of clothes in the dryer...

Sylvia said...

Erika,
When I read this, I got up and went to my refrigerator and removed my yellowed copy of this Erma B. column that has been clinging to the side of the fridge since Feb. 21, 1986. That is the date on this old clipping. I can tell you that I often read it during all those years but didn't always heed the message it contained. I too, like your mom, probably wished my life away too much. My life now is good but I often wish I could relive some of those days when ya'll were in Jr. or Sr. High or I was sitting in the old College church parking lot waiting for the girls to come out and hear about their day. Treasure every moment because from where I am it went way too quickly.