If I Could Do It Again
By Christy Parks
Like every new mother I stressed, yelled, and complained. I couldn’t wait for the day when my kids could do more for themselves and give me a break. I couldn’t wait for the day when I no longer had to stay up until three in the morning to ensure the visit by Santa would remain secret. I couldn’t wait for the day when I no longer had to sneak into my kids’ rooms, tripping over toys, and slip money under their pillowcase in exchange for a blood stained tooth.
Now that my kids are in high school, edging toward adulthood, I can’t help but wonder where the time went. Sure, I wanted the time to fly a little faster, to get some time for myself, to allow at least one day when I could sleep past six am. I was a fool.
As I set about decorating for the holidays, shopping for the perfect gift, my heart is a little broken. No longer do I get to hunt up and down the toy aisles, searching for the coolest and noisiest toys possible. No longer do I get a child bundled up in foot pajamas climbing up onto my lap to watch Rudolph, Frosty, and Charlie Brown. Sure, my kids still enjoy hanging around me at times, but there are no more little hands slipped into mine when we cross the street, no more tear streaked faces over tiny scrapes and boo boos.
Where did the time go?
I didn’t get the same amount of time as others, as my children didn’t come into my life until they were four, five, and six years old. There are no baby pictures hanging on my walls, but there are memories everywhere. There are no memories of the first step or the first word, but there are memories of the first time my kids called me mom, the first time they said they loved me, and the first time I realized my heart was swollen with love for these three.
If I could do it all again I would slow down, listen to every tiny detail of their day, let them paint, color, and build as many mud pies as they could fit into a day. I would pull them onto my lap and watch lightening bugs flash in the summer night sky. If I could do it all again, I would sing more, read more books to them, and take more field trips to the zoo, Grant’s Farm, Purina Farms, and any and every museum I could find. If I could do it all again I would let them cook alongside me no matter how big of a mess they made, I would let them roll the dough, and I would let them decorate the cookies by themselves, even if the gingerbread man’s eyes didn’t match.
If I could do it all again I would enjoy every single second and would never wish for them to grow up a little faster.