Hurry Up and Wait


Do you remember life before children?  Can you?  Funny, as hard as I try it really is a blur.  We know as mothers that everything as we once knew it has changed. But do we really know how much? This week, life taught me a lesson about time, change and love. 

What was it about single life that made us rush, running from this place to that?  It seemed as if there was always somewhere to be, someone to meet or something to get, and every thing from here to there was just a part of the obstacle course.  If I remember correctly, I was pretty impatient.  Time was not always my friend.  If I made plans, I had an expectation for them to go accordingly.  So some unforeseen event was not welcomed.  As a matter of fact, it was quite irritating.  Something, say like a train for example.  Time, good.  Course, in view.  Then all of a sudden bells, flashing lights and roadblocks; my day is undone. I had no one else to get dressed but myself. No extra lunches or snacks to pack. No bag to fill with “distraction toys” or sippy cups to keep cool.   Why could I not leave earlier?  Or better yet, why could I not see life’s unexpected events as anything more then an irritant?  Without planning it or even taking the time to realize all that needed to change, it happened.  As a matter of fact I didn’t even realize it happened until it was already done.  And it revealed itself just like this. 

The meeting was over, and the kids were packed into the car.  Each child had something to snack on and something to drink.  I looked down at my watch and realized that naptime was swiftly approaching.  Pulling out of the parking lot I turn the corner to find a line up of cars at the stop sign.  What was the hold up?  My son looking from the back seat yells out “TRAIN MOMMY!  TRAIN!”  I hear the bells ringing, and if I look hard enough I can see the flashing lights and guard rails descending.  And just like that I am faced with one of life’s unexpected “irritants”.  And do you know what my only thought was? “How can I get closer so that we can all see the train??!!”  The thought hit me without any prompting.  It was not just a thought but also a desire that caught me so off guard that I laughed out loud. 

When did this happen to me?  When did I relax and start seeing these irritants as welcomed adventures?  When did my heart want a better view of the passing train? When did I start looking for truck sightings? Or taking walks just to see tractors and dump trucks? When did I start taking notice of the Goodyear blimp and tracking it from one direction to the next?  Or start noticing every park on every street corner?  When I became a mom.

With two teenagers and three small children, my life is more full then it has ever been.  I have more to remember, more preferences to consider and way more unexpected events to incorporate. Yes, if we think hard enough, fragments of that old life emerge and flickers of what used to be remind me of what once was.  When so many are looking back with eyes of envy to their youth, I smile at just how different I’ve become.  I am a mother now and everything has changed...and I wouldn't have it any other way!  :)