Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Romanticizing the past

My kids are all at a great age. Sometimes I wish I could just freeze them right where they are and not have them grow another inch. And I know when they grow up and I look back, this will be a time of great memories. I'm sure I won't remember arguing with my twelve year old that her shorts are too short or telling my ten year old to stop yelling at his sister or my six year old crying her eyes out for not getting her way. I was thinking about how funny it is that we romanticize the past the way we do. When I decided to have sterilization surgery after my daughter was born my doctor said that I should be prepared for the emotions that would inevitably come when someone close to me had a baby. Maternal instinct isn't something you can just shut off. Well, my brother and his wife had their third baby, a girl, about eighteen months later and I was totally fine. The memories were still fresh of the swollen feet and hands, backache, being up all night with a crying baby, and the unpleasant side of breastfeeding. Then my sister had another baby. Then my friends all seemed to become pregnant at the same time. You'd think that a girl's night out with three friends and me being the only one not pregnant would spark any emotions I'd been suppressing. But, actually it was nice to be the thin one. So, the breakdown my doctor was sure was coming didn't happen....... until.......

No, I'm not actually breaking down and tearing through a box of kleenex or anything but, I'm having some unexpected feelings lately. I've become casual friends with the woman who bought the house my husband and I built when we first married and she and her huband are expecting a baby boy any minute. I think it's the memories of us in the house with our new babies that's causing it. When we brought our first baby home from the hospital to that house my cousin had made a big sign that said "welcome home baby Shelby" and put it on the front of the house. My two older ones took their first steps, said their first words, and had their first birthday parties there. It's funny that I choose not to remember the weeks my daughter had colic and I paced the floor all night or the time when she was about a year old and somehow got into the fridge and smeared an entire tub of Country Crock butter into the carpet.
Maybe God designed our minds to do this on purpose. Otherwise my mother might make good on the threat she made when I was eight. She promised that when I had a home of my own she was coming over to track mud on the carpet and jump on my furniture. SShhhh. I'm sure she's remembering me as a darling eight year old angel and has suppressed the rest.

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