The director of B’s school sent this out to all the parents today and I thought it was an appropriate way to start the weekend. As much as our little ones can drive us batty at times. They are still so small and we need to remember how fast this time does fly. I have been told by ladies in their 60’s how fast their kids grew up and how quickly their grandchildren are growing up. Here is something to start your weekend. Enjoy.
How it Feels When a Mother’s Arms Are No Longer Full
By Sharon Miller Cindrich
I was coming out of the doctor’s office yesterday when I realized there was nothing in my hands. I checked my right pocket for keys, the other for a wallet and my sides for my two dawdling children who were making their own way down the corridor to the elevators.
As my four-year-old and two-year-old skipped down the hallway, my arms felt empty. They flopped aimlessly around my waist, unsure how to act, what to do with themselves. My hands were free to hit the correct elevator button, hold the door open and even fish around my jacket pocket for a stick of gum. My shoulders collected themselves and straightened up, pulling the rest of my tired body along with them. I felt great – didn’t I?
For years, I had carried a newborn in the crook of my arm, an infant on my hip, a toddler on my lap. There was always someone begging to be held or rocked or carried. I’d gotten used to lumbering around with an extra 20 pounds of wriggling on my shoulders in the park, crawling up my arm as I tried to write a check for groceries or around my neck when a strange dog neared us. Just moments before, as the doctor checked ears and throats, I had soothed them both in the safety of my hug. But right now, my arms were empty.
Part of me immediately panicked for another child. I was just getting the hang of making lasagna with a baby on one hip and a toddler hanging from my shirt. I was almost used to weeding the garden with two kids playing horsy on my back. Another part of me sighed in the relief of the moment – a moment I often prayed for in attempts to get the laundry folded or the lawn cut or anything done before a tiny pair of outreached arms found me. I knew that within seconds, the carrying and holding and hanging would return – that this was just a preview of my children’s independence from me; they were far from graduating.
And I knew that these new tidbits of freedom left me able to do even more with them. Without a baby on my back or a child on my shoulders, we could swim more, bake more and dance more. I would have more time to watch and more patience to wait and more energy to push the swings or tie the water balloons or read the bedtime stories. I would be less anxious to hurry them away to bed, to preschool or to a babysitter. And I knew the time would come where I would long for their attention, their touch, their wanting me – like this moment in the elevator.
I looked down at the growing bodies that I carried inside me not that long ago, my whole body preciously wrapped around them. And after years of holding them, first in my womb, then under my arms, I now barely held them by just five little fingers – wiggling fingers eager to pull away from me and push the elevator buttons themselves and wave good-bye. And though my mind rejoiced in thoughts of eating a meal without a child on my lap, I felt a different heaviness, an ache in my heart. I had not realized how much of them I carried there.
As the elevator doors opened to the parking lot, my arms shot from my sides instinctively, gratefully grabbing my son up on my one hip and pulling my daughter close to my thigh while I walked them safely to the car.
(a photo of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are here with their kids because despite how busy these 2 people are…I know they do have help…but they do choose to spend lots of time with their kids too. Also, Angelina Jolie was seen taking time with her kids on Saturday before her Changling premiere.)