Monday, May 05, 2008

Do I Dare Hope

By Nancy A. Ericson

Do I dare hope for the day when I can sleep through the night without having to warm up a bottle or calm a scared toddler?

Or better yet, for the day when I have more than a foot on my own bed to sleep on because sometime during the night an unhappy baby was easier to calm by laying him there than putting him back into his crib.

Do I dare hope for the day I can sleep in till I’m not tired anymore instead of being forced up by the guilty feelings I get when I hear, “I’m hungry.”

Or better yet, when I can use the bathroom or take a shower without hearing little fists pounding on the door to let them in and then have to cut my precious, hot shower short because someone sitting on the toilet needs some wiping.

Do I dare hope for the day when I don’t have to pin down the kid to brush his teeth or hear ringing in my ears because I’ve just rinsed the shampoo out of someone’s hair?

Or better yet, for the day when I can read a book during the day (without feeling guilty).

Do I dare hope for the day to find tape when I need it, to find scissors where I left them last, or anything for that matter because three very busy boys find it very fun to use anything and everything including toothpicks, cotton balls, yarn, buttons, dental floss, envelopes, to pass the day.

Or better yet, when I don’t find my nicely, organized linen closet empty and all the sheets, towels, and blankets twisted up or spread out into a fort inside the house or even worse outside smelling like grass, smog and whatever else is out there.

Do I dare hope for the day when I’m down to three loads of laundry (whites, lights, and darks) instead of three per person per week and for that day when I don’t have to put it all away or throw it all off the bed so that I can get under the covers for the night?

Or better yet, for the day I don’t have to make a milk or diaper run at midnight.

Do I dare hope for the day when I clean my house and it stays clean?

Or better yet when there no longer is that constant puddle of urine at the base of the toilet or behind, especially after spending so much time back there on my hands and knees scrubbing.

Do I dare hope for the day they pick up there own clothes instead of me having to take a whiff to decide whether the article is clean or dirty and then being unpleasantly, surprised by that potent smell, the one all parents know….rotten, stinky pee.

Or better yet when I go to open my dryer and pull out the clothes and there’s no sand pouring out or open the washer and there’s no remnant of an exploded diaper that somehow made it in along with the load.

Do I dare hope for the day that the things I buy don’t get damaged or ruined after just three minutes?

Or better yet when I can put on my glasses in the middle of the night to see what time it is, and they are not permanently in a state of crookedness because I’m too poor to get yet another replacement.

Do I dare hope for the day I’m not wiping off greasy, dirty fingerprints from my walls, bedspread, fridge, TV and computer screen, and especially off my new pair of jeans…argh.

Or better yet when the only bum I’m wiping is my own.

Do I dare hope for the day I can go out shopping in peace instead of in a constant state of anxiety trying to find the perfect outfit in a hurry because the kids are screaming bloody murder or wondering where my kids are after letting them out of the cart or stroller thinking it could buy me another five minutes and hoping they haven’t been kidnapped?

Or better yet when I can go out on my own and leave the house guilt free because I’m not shutting the door behind me as I listen to resenting cries and then be gone for as long as I want.

Do I dare hope for the day I can sit through a meal without having to get up to fetch something for someone else, to clean up a spill, or even worse to help someone finish business in the bathroom.

Or better yet for the day when I don’t have to worry about making healthy meals three times a day plus snacks.

Do I dare hope for the day I don’t have to pull the car over on the side of the road and tell someone to get out or behave?

Or better yet for the day when I’m not reaching in the back seat to pick up spilling soda while I’m driving.

Do I dare hope for the day when we're at church and that paper airplane I just made for them doesn't go flying across the congregation?

Or better yet when we're at church and they are sitting still instead of on me, over me, and under me, and when I pretend I don't see those eyes staring at us while I once again pretend that I don't see my kid stretching his gum and sticking it on the something or picking his nose, or throwing a punch at his brother.

Do I dare hope for time to go by more quickly, when it already does?

Because looking back, it all seems like a small sacrifice to endure, a small trade off for the blessings of having these babies, for the gift of time to spend with them, for the things they teach me, and for the opportunity to guide them along.

I only have so much time before they’d rather I not snuggle up with them, before I no longer hear them sing primary songs in their little voices, and I won’t be so easily forgiven regardless of the mistakes I’ve made.

There’s only so much time before they turn their backs to me and go live their own lives which almost doesn’t include me at all.

There’s only so much time before I’m not the center of their world and they spend all day long planning and making gifts for me for Mother’s Day using the tape, scissors, yarn, buttons, dental floss, and envelopes I’ve been looking for.

There’s only so much time before I start wishing I could go back in time to hear their precious breathing while they sleep, to feel their little hearts beat next to mine while I rock them.

Do I dare hope for time to go by more quickly, when it already does?


Chris said...

Beautiful babe. Thanks!

Emily said...

wow! you've been doing a LOT of thinking this morning, you make me tired!

there will be a day when you will want this time of your life back... insane i know, i cant picture it either!

until then, i'm with ya!

Carson Calderwood said...

Like Chris said, beautiful! That was a good perspective reminder b/c Risa could have written the same thing. Its always nice to also be reminded that others go through the same thing.

the narrator said...

you tired?

Natalie Jensen said...

That was very insightful and very true. Thanks. Would you mind if I shared that with my sisters?

Schaar Family said...

Nancy, I think that is what every mother goes through right? But at the end of it all it is so true! You are such a beautiful writer! p.s. this is me Emily I forgot to sign in on my computer under Emily Redd so it has me on my family account.

VAgirlinUT said...

Nancy, that was so good! I am so with you. The days can be so hard, but the boys really are so precious. One thing that my mom told me to do when I got frustrated, is to look at their little hands or eyes. It puts it all into perspective, because you are right - it will be over so soon. I am about to celebrate my baby's 3rd birthday already! I can't believe it.

Erin said...

great post. and very true.

Sara C. said...

Well said! I needed to hear that, for sure. It's been one of those days. Actually, it's been one of those days pretty much every day! Thanks for helping me keep things in perspective. You really are a great writer!