I like my job. I love my kids.
I go to work, I go home, I take care of my family. And that's pretty much it. Me, at thirty-three, soon to be thirty-four. Just gettin' older by the day.
Sometimes I don't feel like I'm a thirty-something, responsible (more or less) adult.
Sometimes I feel like a kid. Waiting for summer to start. Waiting for the sprinklers to come on in the heat of the afternoon so I can run through the water. Waiting for the "ahhh..." of the first week of not having to wake up for school. Waiting to hear the the other kids outside... the sound of the neighborhood "waking up."
Unfortunately, now that I'm old (thirty-four, in case you weren't paying attention the first time) the only thing that appeals to me at this very moment is not having to wake up early for
But when I was a kid, the summers I remember were totally AWESOME.
Playing outside all day until mom called us in for dinner. Eating around the table as a family... eating as quickly as we could so we could get back out with our friends. Silly string fights in the kitchen (*ahem* which totally did not happen, no way, not once).
Pleading to stay out "just a little longer" in the evening, and then trying to kill time when we got permission for 10 more minutes. Riding our bikes to the library, or Dairy Queen, or just around the neighborhood. (Way back when I was a kid, I was way more coordinated on two wheels. Now, not so much!)
Rollerblading with my brother... and him waiting at the bottom of the hill (if you can call it that) at the end of our street to grab my arm as I whizzed by because I wasn't very good at stopping myself with the tiny piece of rubber they call brakes (by the way, thanks for not missing the catch Mike, a fall would have hurt... probably as much as the time I rode my bike into a parked car. Or that time I fell off of my bike at the bottom of the tiny hill. Ouch.).
Basketball in the driveway. Playing hide-and-seek. The slip and slide in our back yard. Parties with cake and ice cream and party group pictures in the living room. Roller skating in the basement (I had problems with brakes even then... and our washing maching had the dents to proove it).
So much fun...
But now? Now I think about bills, my kids, pre-school for Katie, bills, how much Jake will miss her when she's gone each day, oh, and did I say bills?
Now I wait for the end of my workday to come, so I can get home to my family.
Now I wait for the weekends so I can sing the kids the good morning song when they wake up (Katie likes it, Jake isn't always thrilled).
Now I appreciate that time in the evening when the sun starts to set and everything is hushed except for the sound of kids playing outside (because if I can hear kids playing outside, it means that the kids playing inside aren't screaming. Or breaking anything. Or fighting over a toy. And that's a good thing) and I can cuddled with my sweet kiddos.
And sometimes sharing "where does she get this stuff" or a "who does Jake think he is? Superman?" looks with John when Katie gives a musical performance using a waterbottle as a guitar... or a violin (huh?) or Jake decides to climb tall tables in a... well, you get the picture, helps us both to appreciate the uniqueness of our kids.
After Katie was born, I think I started to gather the memories that are made in moments. Moments that sneak up on you. When you breathe out and everything in the world seems right.
And I try to remember to watch for the little things that will make those memories. Memories that I can replay when the kids are off on their own, with their families and lives... or when they're 12 and I'm wondering why we didn't give them away when they started to reach "the tween years".
Sometimes it's hard to remember "making memories" when I'm cleaning up milk from the floor, or watching as an open baggie full of cheerios is flung across the living room, or wrestling to keep Jake away from the open dishwasher as I'm trying to fill it. Yep, sometimes it's tough.
And then I get a grin from one of my kids (a kid with cheerios stuck to their leg). A hug from Katie that comes out of nowhere. A slobbery kiss from Jake. Katie putting her clothes away without being asked. The kids meeting me at the door when I come home from work and they are so excited to see me that they almost push me over. Jake's grin as he pulls yet another baking pan out of the cupboard. Katie's questions that she thinks mommy can answer (thank you Google!). And everything gets set back to rights.
Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if I had chosen a different path.
But all I have to do is look around me and I'm reminded of my many reasons to be thankful that I get to be *me* on THIS path.
And how much I appreciate this life I've chosen.