Sometimes when I hear parents complain about how busy their life is and they don’t have time to stop and relax, I want to tell them to enjoy the chaos that’s in their life now. When I hear a woman complain about something her husband has done or does that drives her nuts, I want to tell her to enjoy the person that her husband is and not to worry about the tiny things. He is hers and she is his. These people are in one of happiest times of their lives and they don’t recognize the preciousness of having their family together.
There are times in my life that I wish I could go back to and relive and pay attention to all the small details, touches, and conversations. Unless the day was a special day or a traumatic day, my brain didn’t store the information where I could retrieve the memories in perfect detail.
It’s the ordinary days that I wish I could recall. There was so much joy in the daily activities in my family that I didn’t recognize as precious.
Just cooking in the kitchen and sitting down at the table together to have dinner as a family is something I wish I could recreate now. Simply talking about how was school and work and any plans for the weekend is a time I wish I could relive. I remember talking, laughing, and complaining about them watching TV while we were eating. John getting up over and over and putting Zoey on her pillow as he trained her to sit while we ate. I miss playing board games as a family and simply shopping together, going to movies and football games. I miss arguing about whose turn it was to do the dishes and the complaining about picking up after them. Both Cam and John had this horrible habit of leaving dresser drawers open. I don’t know how often I would go behind them closing them and complaining about doing it. John would throw his clothes toward the dirty clothes hamper and I would come behind him and pick them up. I’d love to see open drawers and clothes on the floor now.
I miss the noise of my family doing ordinary things. The noise of video games booming from down the hall or in the living room. Zoey barking as Cam and John pretended to hit one another just to see her turn circles as she became agitated with them. I miss the noise of the shower running and doors closing. I miss the love that came with the ordinary everyday activities.
There are many of my friends who have become ‘Empty Nesters’ this year and I know there is adjustment in their lives. There is joy in the quietness that comes from them going away. There is sadness too in the quietness of the house and missing the activities and conversations with them. I know that also. I missed Cameron so much when he left to go off to college and I had to get used to him not being in the house. I miss the noise that he took with him. I remember how hard it was when he would come home and then leave to go back. I wanted to scoop him in my arms and hold him here, but that wouldn’t be realistic, so I’d smile, wave and watch his car go around the curve.
I’ve adjusted to living alone. I’ve learned to fill the quietness with conversations in my head or to talk to my pets. When Cam comes home, we have ordinary days filled with ordinary activities, but now I try to hold on to the magic that comes from being together. I try to hold on to the preciousness of ordinary days.