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Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm Gonna Miss This???

Last week I was driving about town running various errands… you know, the usual, dropping off this, picking up that, the grocery store, the post office, yada, yada, yada… My girls were sulking a bit in the backseat, not at all thrilled to be pulled away from the Disney Channel or to be missing out on any potential pool time by having to run “boring errands”.

But off we went… and of course, after each stop there was the “Are we done yeeettttt????” And “Can we go home noooowwww???” I reply, “Almost,” and then starts the whining about being hungry or thirsty, having to stop to potty… all the usual complaints. Upon reaching our final destination, Wal-Mart, we pull into the parking lot and the girls immediately start negotiating for a toy. I give my speech about how we’re not buying any toys today, blah, blah, blah… (a spill I will have to repeat at least three or four more times inside the store).

We make it inside. I’m steering my buggy, holding Tanner with one hand (he refuses to sit down – period), as I’m hastily trying to get all the items on my list. They’ve conceited defeat on the toy front, but the grocery section offers up plenty of new possibilities… starting with the cereal aisle. And so begins the begging for all the cereals with their favorite characters on the box (of course, none of which they will actually eat…).

I say “no”… hearts are broken, hopes are dashed… and of course, fits are thrown. As we move about the store getting the rest of my list, I also have to shoot down requests for Pop Tarts, Dora Ice Cream Bars, Barbie Waffles, Princess Fruit Snacks, and finally a box of juice pouches with Shrek on the front. Each “no” solicits the same response… “But wwhhyyyy,” “But I want it,” “But I need it,” and “But, pllleeassse momma….” The other Wal-Mart patrons look on… some offering sympathizing smiles, others looking annoyed. But, I’m strong. We make it – the list is complete. The worst, however, is yet to come – we have to check out.

The checkout aisle, lined with candy and suckers (and in some cases small toys) as far as their little eyes can see, is just brutal. And of course, Mr. Hershey knows that by the time us parents reach the Wal-Mart checkout line, we’ve been saying “no” to our children for the last hour and that hearing them “whine” one more time just might send us right over the edge. And so at this point, when we’re focused on not holding up the line, paying the bill (while wondering how the world we spend that much) and then just getting the hell out of there, we’ll gladly shell out an extra dollar or two to keep our children happy and quiet!

Oh, the drama. So, we’re heading home… five errands, two potty breaks, $134.00 Wal-Mart bill, three hours and two bags of M&M’s later. I’m exhausted. I’m frustrated! In the M&M induced silence, I turn on the radio… and there is Trace Atkins singing…

You’re gonna miss this… you’re gonna want this back… you’re gonna wish these days… hadn’t gone by so fast… these are some good times… take a good look around… you may not know it now… but you’re gonna miss this.

Really?? Sometimes I wonder… But the truth is – the song (cheesy as it is) is, I imagine, very true. In the midst of Trav’s 13 hour work days, two very energetic girls, a 15-month old little boy who climbs everything, and, of course, all the other more labor intensive tasks involved in our three-kid package, it is easy to forget to see the joy. And in the places where the “daily” mixes in with the “crazy”… to also be grateful for it.

There will come a time, probably much more quickly than I realize, when I won’t have three little kids to drag around Wal-Mart. I’ll have teenagers!! By then I might long for the days when a box of cereal with Barbie on the front would have pleased them. A couple of days ago, I was reading my friend, Kelly’s, blog. Along with her post updating everyone on the adventures of her family, she had written:

“I hope to not take any of these moments or any other moment of my life for granted. Still there are many days that I catch myself drudging along in a mist… It is not always easy to say, "Thank you God for my 'now'". I hope we all can grow into that prayer.”

Amen, girl… Thanks.

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