Remember the times of your life


Dr. James Spinnati



Spinnati

Spinnati


You might be a mother if:

You count the sprinkles on each kid’s cupcake to make sure they’re equal.

You use your own saliva to clean your child’s face.

You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.

You read that the average 5-year-old asks 437 questions a day and feel proud that your kid is “above average.”

You hire a sitter because you haven’t been out with your husband in ages, and then spend half the night checking on the kids.

You realize that you have just cut your husband’s steak into bite-sized pieces for him.

Young mothers, I have a word for you today. Maybe you have left a basement full of laundry and a hallway full of muddy boots and there is a makeshift fort in front of your garage. The baby is teething, the boys fought all the way to church and your husband spent an hour reading the sports page while you were feeding the baby and making supper. If that describes you, continue reading and you will find Erma Brombeck’s article she wrote years ago that is so true for us today.

Mothers, there will come a day when you’ll straighten up the boys’ bedroom neat and tidy — bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on their shelves and hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you’ll say out loud, “Now I want it to stay this way.” And it will. You’ll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn’t been picked to death, and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you’ll say, “Now, there’s a meal for company,” and you’ll eat it alone. You’ll say, “I want complete privacy. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence. Do you hear?” And you will have it. No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti. No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms. No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps. No car seats and no more playpens to move around. No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent. No more sand in the sheets. No more rubber ducks floating in the toilet. No more fake tattoos, rubber bands for ponytails, tight boots or wet knotted shoestrings. Imagine lipstick with a point on it. Washing clothes only once a week. Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.

There will be no more PTA meetings. No carpools. No blaring radios. No teenage girls washing their hair at 11 p.m., and you will have a roll of Scotch tape with tape actually on the roll. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste. No more sloppy oatmeal kisses. No more tooth fairy. No giggles in the dark. No knees to heal. Only a voice crying, “Why don’t you grow up?” And the silence echoing, “I did.”

Erma is right about one thing. Kids are precious, aren’t they? I read about one woman whose daughter just turned 11 months old. She was full of the awesome wonder of the new world. She began saying, “Wow.” She spoke this marvelous word for anything new and wonderful, such as the assortment of toys she spotted in the pediatrician’s office or the gathering of clouds before a storm. She would whisper, “Oh, wow” for things that really impressed her, like a brisk breeze on her face or a flock of geese honking overhead. Then there was the ultimate “wow,” which was mouthing the word with no sound. This was reserved for truly awesome events. These included the sunset on a lake after a magnificent day and fireworks in the summer sky. Another day when she was in the midst of her terrible 2s she pointed to a beautiful model on the cover of a magazine and said, “Is that you, Mom?” And one day when she was 3 she put her hand on her mother’s arm and said, “Mom, if you were a kid, we’d be friends.” At moments like that, one can only write, “oh, wow!”

Mothers, here is the key to crowning moments in your life: enjoy the time you have with them while they are young, because they grow up so quickly, and then they are gone, and you will wish for the good old “bad days” when you thought you would never ever have any time for yourself.

Judy and I know what we are talking about, because all five of our children are grown up, and we miss the elephant calls of our youngest son Chris. The times he “passed out” on the kitchen floor when Judy told him we were having meatloaf for supper. The times we had to jerk Scott out of bed and tell him, “You are going to be late for school.” Or Lisa as she would moan the “fact” that none of her friends ever had to wash dishes. Then I think of Tad and how many pancakes that boy could put away. He always had room for “just one more, Mom.” He alone cost us a fortune. And who could forget Jamie with the bathroom tied up and the hair dryer running on and on, and, of course, the telephone that was permanently attached to her ear. For all those bygone days I just mentioned, Judy and I say, “Give us back the old days, please.”

So, my friends, enjoy the times of your life while you have them. I will leave you with some of the lyrics from the song “Times of Your Life.”

Good morning, yesterday

You wake up and time has slipped away

And suddenly it’s hard to find

The memories you left behind

Remember, do you remember

The times of your life?

The laughter and the tears

The shadows of misty yesteryears

The good times and the bad you’ve seen

And all the others in between

Remember, do you remember

The times of your life?

Here comes the setting sun

The seasons are passing one by one

So gather moments while you may

Collect the dreams you dream today

Remember, will you remember

The times of your life?

Gather moments while you may

Collect the dreams you dream today

Remember, will you remember

The times of your life?

Spinnati
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Dr. James Spinnati