How swift the tree grows

I haven’t had much time to write lately. DS’s nap schedule is all over the place, and for the last week or so it doesn’t seem to matter whether he falls asleep at noon or at 4 pm he is still up until at least 10 pm or later. And lately he has been more needy than usual, which means that I don’t get much chance for “me” time in the evenings. The only way to keep him from napping is to not go out in the afternoon since he naps easily in either the stroller or the car. That’s not an option because I go stir-freakin’-crazy if I don’t get out of the house with the kids every day and then I deal with 3 hours of miserably tired child. Fun. So, we just keep on trucking along in the hopes that this phase will pass soon and perhaps both kids will get back to an earlier bedtime before the days start getting longer instead of shorter. Actually, it’s just DS. DD really isn’t a problem. If DS is asleep and the adults go to sleep she will usually go to bed too, or she’ll stay up by herself and watch a movie without disturbing us. DS, on the other hand, doesn’t seem content to just watch movies (and I suspect, with great guilt, that this is because he watches so damned many of them that they have lost their mesmerization powers over him).

But lest you think this is just another gripe from a tired mama, I will mention what I did this past weekend. It was my Aunt and Uncle’s 50th Wedding Anniversary and my cousin threw a great big party for them. The tables were set up in the back yard, complete with gas heat lamps and a table full of food. This branch of the family is interesting. Uncle is my Dad’s brother. He and my Aunt had four kids, one with Down syndrome. She isn’t really any trouble, which may have to do with her love of the sauce, as they say. She’s pretty much allowed to drink as much as she wants. She is, after all, over 40 (which is longer than the docs had predicted she’d live when she was born) and a rather happy and loving drunk. Really, more people should be like her when they are shitfaced. Anyways, after having three kids in the usual span of time Auntie and Uncle got the surprise of a lifetime: at the age of 50 years old, my Aunt got pregnant. I remember the fuss over it (I was about 11 at the time) but couldn’t appreciate then how incredible it truly was. And so my fourth cousin D. was born and I saw her at the hospital and watched her grow up. D’s older sister, the hostess that day, was already married when D was born (I still remember the wedding – it was a lot of fun). For an anniversary gift to her parents D. put together a slide show of family photos. I begun to appreciate how bizarre it must have been for a couple in their 50’s to be pushing a stroller around – Auntie and Uncle looked like grandparents and I bet that is exactly what every passer-by addressed them as. I’m sure they got tired of that conversation pretty fast. And I know how exhausted I am looking after my kids – I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for them at their age. Anyways, not long after D was born her oldest sister had two boys in quick succession and so they and their Aunt D are all the same age.

All of this above is to say that this party was a poignant reminder to me of how fast the time goes. I remember D’s birth and now she is married and renovating a house with her hubby. I remember the boys’ births and now one is in college and the other almost graduating from high school. Their Dad tells me how much he misses the young years, when you got snuggles and cuddles and all the rest. And so, despite the fact that DS’s shrieking has reached eviction-notice proportions, and despite the fact that I get so little time to myself at home, and despite the fact that it’s hard to go anywhere fun for all of us with a busy, active toddler in tow…I’m enjoying it. I am. I look at DS and I see this adorable cuteness and I know one day soon I am going to miss that so much and long for just a few moments of it. I truly love being a mother, and I’m really glad for occasions like the anniversary party where all the branches of the family tree are shouting the same message: it all goes by so fast, so enjoy it while you can!

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