Monday, February 8, 2016

More of This

On Saturday, we spent much of the day not even knowing where our son was or what he was doing.

And that's the way it used to be when we were young.

On Saturday, we dropped the boy off for his first extended play date, with friends we trust, friends who "get" his wily little ways. The girl stayed with a trusted babysitter.  And off we went on a day date.

We hiked. We ate. We talked. We shopped for appliances. We did the things that are more challenging to do with the tiny humans in tow.

And we never once worried about our son.

We picked up the girl from home and went to join the boy at the birthday party that extended from his play date.  He wasn't anywhere to be seen when we arrived; so, we grabbed one of the offered adult beverages, found some friends, and started talking.

And that's exactly what I remember my parents doing.

Someone told us, "Oh, he's inside with the boys."

He showed up after a bit, told me he was staying forever at D's house, and went on about his life.  Another mother helped him get some lunch, while I watched from afar, amazed at his willingness to get help where he needed it, not solely relying on me. Only when he crashed into D on the trampoline did he need a hug. He got his hug and moved on with his play.

We circulated, talked with the other parents of preschoolers, drank wine, caught up, ate cake. 

The girl fell asleep on my chest in her carrier. I kissed the top of her head and hugged her warm little body.

No one really kept track of their kids, because we were all keeping track of them together.

And I remember having dozens of parents I could trust.

The boy asked D's dad to replace the battery in the drive-on tractor, the battery my son apparently wore down to nothing while driving it around for two hours. The kids flocked to the resurrected tractor. At one point, D and A were in the seats, with C and J piled on top of them, all four them going for a ride.

And I remember flying down the driveway on the toy Winebago, with at least five kids, which was at least four kids too many, trying to ride it, too. I have a scar to accessorize the memory.

The kids moved on to something else. They ran. They jumped. They crashed. They threw the football. They got snacks and juice and chips and help from every parent there.  They ran inside, far out of view, and climbed into tents on top of bunk beds.

And I remember the sheer joy of the first of my independence. Of running until I had no breath. Of giggling and laughing under the blankets. Of begging my mother for more time, even when she hadn't told me we were leaving.

The sun lingered. The warmth of the day remained.  We told the boy he had only five minutes, and that stretched into twenty. 

We finally gathered his toys, his sweatshirt, and his wayward shoes. We piled into the car. 

He fell asleep within an instant.

And I remember the sweet exhaustion of a day well played.  And I hope for more of this, much, much more. For the chance for a blissfully full childhood. For the chance to be the adults I revered.

For memories that shape a lifetime. 

 

16 comments:

  1. memories that shape a lifetime.......so true!!!

    I cherish the ones from my childhood and hope I am setting up memories for my kiddies :)

    -Tamieka@fitballingrunningmom

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    1. Thank you - it occurred to us a couple of years ago that our son had finally reached the age that we can remember about our own childhoods - it makes everything so much more powerful!

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  2. This post is so beautifully written! I love how you've woven your own memories in. Life is all about making those sweet memories isn't it. It's such a beautiful thing to remember those cherished moments!

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    1. Thank you - it wasn't as beautiful of a weekend this week, but his smile was still enough to get through the rough patches - we need to make a good life for this boy!

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  3. I loved this post so much! I can still remember those days and now I see my daughter going through the same. She so longs for any amount of adult time she can get. After a few hours though without the kids, she can't stand it. So glad to have found your page!! Happy Momming!!

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    1. I love it - Happy Momming :). Yeah, I got invited to an adults only event and declined because I already had a date night scheduled a few days later. I don't like being gone too much!

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  4. I remember days like that as a kid, my parents leaving me with friends and a parent or two and the day went on and on with my friends. We didn't worry about not getting what we needed because there was always a parent around who took care of us if we needed something.
    This was a great post, made me think about being a kid. :) (Shannon @GirlsGotSole)

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    1. Thanks for running by :). I love when I can trigger some happy childhood memories.

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  5. Enjoy every minute. My girls are now teenagers and its hard to believe. I love seeing them grow up into confident, happy young adults.

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    1. My mom has always said that she loved each stage better than the previous, and I'm finding that to be (mostly) true.

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  6. Awww so sweet! you are totally making those forever moments for your children. And really, that's the most important thing. You're doing it right Mama!!

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  7. This post was so sweet! I loved how you described your son being a little more independent. I really liked how you talked about your own memories! This made me smile! 

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    1. Ah, thank you. He is my wild boy, and it's great when we can just let him be wild.

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  8. As a military family, we struggle with this since we are constantly moving and meeting new people. It's certainly a challenge to develop relationships quickly and balance that with feeling comfortable allowing my daughter her space to grow and thrive.

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    1. My parents were military kids, and I know that struggle is quite real. I hope that you're able to build a tribe somewhere!

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