I have been pretty nostalgic these past few months as my boys are growing and busier. (To say the least. Please don't ask my husband abut this) We have some great friends who 'loan' us the use of their beautiful pool during the summer. Most of the time we have spent at the pool this summer has been minus a boy or two, which I've been used to (sorta) and while it was different, it wasn't bad. However my motherly awakening came the day we had everyone home, the weather was great, and I said (very enthusiastically) "Hey! Let's go to the pool!" whereupon Mr. Stick-In-The-Mud-Because-I'm-So-Much-Older Oldest said (not so enthusiastically) "meh. I don't really feel like it".
I was crushed. My kiddos would have begged, bribed, pleaded, pasted on the sappy puppy-dog looks and rubbed my feet only a few short years ago to even get me to even consider going to the pool! After he said this, I didn't have to paste on a you're-crushing-your-poor-mother's-heart look because it automatically showed up on my face. I'm surprised I didn't spring tears it was that heart wrenching to me, a moment of pure recognition that they all aren't my little boys anymore.
Deflated my mommy bubble right there.
A sadder version of me went. The sun was warm, the water was pleasant, and fun was still had. Yet, I realize it hasn't been the same since all 5 were home and all 5 were thrilled to go, making frequent family afternoons of it. One where we'd be gone for a few hours and I could rest my brain knowing the boys were contained and burning off energy (rather than burning actual things. Why on earth do boys love fire so much??)
As I drove by the pool yesterday, the nostalgia hit again. I thought of all the drive-by's we have done where I heard various voices exclaim "I can't wait until the pool is open! Do ya think they'll open it soon mama?!?" "Can we go to the pool today mom?" "Are we gonna hit the pool?" "It's soooooo hot (73) can we go swimming?" "Goodbye pool, see you next summer" and I thought we probably won't make it back there this year. If I'd have known that, I might have made it a little more special the last time we went. Will we even go next year?.
There it is.
We mark the first steps, the first words, first day of preschool, first date, etc, yet gloss over the "Lasts". Actually, we do mark some of the last - last day of school, last day of Senior year, last therapy treatment, last test, etc. But what about the last time you had to tie his shoes for him? Last time you had to hold his bottle? Last time you had to buckle his seat belt?
Last time he wants to go to the pool with you?
Those creep up on you and don't get realized until it knocks you in the head and you say..."hey, when was that last time?" Or you get emotional about swimming because your son is more man than boy.
A good reminder to cherish every moment and I don't mean behind a phone 'capturing' with pixels a moment that is best shared in person, physically AND mentally present. I don't want to remember how I was fiddling with my phone trying to get the right lighting while my kids become narcissistic centers of constant attention. I want to be there to bless his forehead, hug his lanky frame, and stand in the doorway waving him off so that when he doesn't want to go swimming with me, I know it's all in due course; that I cherished the multitude of times that he did.