Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Don't know what you've got 'til it's gone

It’s true what they say.
You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.
Ryan always used to come straight home from work and pick me up so we could run his errands together. I was always with him when he got bolts from Home Depot or bought a new filter for his truck or stood in line for his college textbooks.
Sometimes I was annoyed. I’d rather be doing something else, you know? Maybe I just wished we could do something more fun, or maybe I had homework I wanted to get started on or was desperate to find out how a book ended. It was still fun enough that I always went with him, but sometimes I would whine, “Can’t I just wait out here?” He’d shrug and go in alone, and I’d feel half-bad and half-relieved.
Now I would give anything to go get bolts with him. Just him and me, holding hands, chatting together in Home Depot without interruption.

Our little boy went through a phase just before he turned two. Before we left the house, he’d insist on putting his “key” and his “phone” in his pocket. The key was a small flashlight keychain someone gave him at an event and the phone was a rectangular wooden block. The blocks were in abundance so finding his phone was never really an issue… but that key! It drove us crazy!
“My keyyyyy!” he’d wail if we tried to take him somewhere without it.
We’d attempt to hurry him into the van so we could get a move on and he’d wail, “WAITTTT! Need use my key!” at which point he would touch his key to the van door and then scrape it around on the paint. “Ready!” he’d smile proudly.
And we were so annoyed!
Now I can’t believe we ever thought it was anything but precious. He was so serious about it all! It was so adorable. You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.

This stage of life we’re in is beautiful, but it’s also crazy and hard.
We’ve pretty much been tired for four solid years. Almost five if you count all the pregnancy symptoms that woke me up or kept me awake so many years ago.
We haven’t been on a date in years, I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding since the summer of 2012, and we’ve had at least one child in diapers since April of 2013.
The hardest part by far, though, is the noise level. Gosh, the noise. It gets way too quiet like once a week and then I discover that someone found a stray crayon or they’ve emptied out my dresser or something… but mostly, it’s always loud.
We wake up to noise, we shout to each other over the din of little ones singing and toy hammers banging and the baby smacking any two things together she can find before clapping and shouting “YAHHHHH!” Mealtimes are loud—there are protests against certain foods, requests for seconds of another, inquiries about what we are having for breakfast/lunch/dinner tomorrow—and bedtime is peppered with the sound of “MOMMMMMMMY! I love you! You come fill up my water again?” and “DADDDDDDDDY! I need my blanket fixed! C’mere!” Car rides are noisy. Stroller walks are noisy. Storytime is noisy. Phone calls are noisy. Even in the middle of the night, there is always noise. Someone is snoring. Someone is muttering in their sleep. Someone is crying for milk or whispering loudly, “MAMA, ARE YOU AWAKE? I HAD A BAD DREAM.”
Some days I would give anything for the chance to have an interrupted conversation with my husband in the middle of the day… but at the same time, I’m very keenly aware of how much we will miss this. Someday it’ll be silent in this house and we’ll flip through photo albums or pop in an old home movie because we’re desperate to see these little faces once again.

What else? What is happening right now, today, that I will someday miss wholeheartedly?

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