Thursday, May 8, 2008

An Epiphany

They strike at the oddest of moments. A realization that hits you like a shovel to the side of your head. Not a little plastic shovel, either. I'm talking about the kind of shovel that makes a metal pinging sound after the said head wacking.

I had an epiphany last night at 10:46 pm. Sitting on the couch, reading my latest book find from a used book store in Victoria (A.J. Cronin, one of my favourite authors). Kaitlyn finally headed to bed.

"Night. Love you," she said, and went downstairs to sleep with the spiders (that's another post).

"Night. Love you too," both Heath and I replied. And that's when I heard the pinging sound.

She didn't ask me to come tuck her in. PINGGGGG.

Exactly how long long has this been going on? I've tucked her in for years. YEARS I tell you! 16 and a half if a person was counting. I'll admit that there were nights when I covered up a sigh and groan at the nightly request. But the more I thought about it, the more I couldn't pinpoint when the requests had stopped. Then came the realization that yet one more part of raising her is done.

One of the hardest parts of parenthood is the endless feeling of the long road in front of you. So many days blending into each other, doing the same things over and over, with your brain leaking out your left ear as you listen to Barney the Dinosaur and some sugar coated children singing about remembering to brush your teeth and the thought of ramming Barney's massive toothbrush down that large mouth of his and picturing the children's horrified faces gets you through just one more video. Time seems on your side but then one day you discover that Barney is gathering dust and now you want to shove a toothbrush down Hannah Montana's mug.

Perhaps these realizations are what makes motherhood a wee bit easier with subsequent children. You know that the latest phase will eventually end. You learn to savour the moments more, enjoy the wet kisses, love being the recipient of a spontaneous leg hug, smile at walking in on the toddler who has discovered the art of undressing down to her birthday suit, laugh at the 13 year old who whines at the suggestion of taking a shower. These moments will end and be replaced with other moments, and at the end of the day, you'll be left rocking in your rocking chair knitting a pair of booties for your 18th grandchild and reminiscing about the snow of '98.

So I will savour tucking in the young ones tonight. Perhaps I will go and tuck in Kaitlyn for old time's sake, and imprint the moment in my mind. As it will be the night before she goes on her first date, this seems fitting. God help me.



James said...

What do you mean DATE??????? Jeeeeezz I remember changing her freakin diaper. Maybe she needs her crazy uncle James to drive.... I promise I wont make him walk much.

colleen4 said...

Between you and Heath, you'd have it all covered.

And YOU feel old? I remember changing YOUR freakin diaper.

Genny said...

Oh you made me cry!!!! I'm so glad you shared your link on my blog...thank you!