Lest I Forget

15 Dec

Dear Future Me,

Hi there! I hope things are going great for you! Did you accomplish all that you had planned for yourself all those years ago? I sure hope so. Either way, I’m sure you did everything you did with the best interests of your little army at heart. What decisions did you make? Were there more than four little soldiers after all, or did you stop after the Princess arrived? Did you obtain your degree after the last one started school? Did you ever accomplish your goal of moving near your siblings and their children?

I’m sure as the years go by that you have laughed at yourself for this letter many times, and perhaps as you read it again now – all these years later – you’re laughing again. However, I felt this letter was important for many reasons. Let me remind you of where you were when you wrote this.

The Bubba

Bubba (do you still call him that, or does he insist on being called Hayden now?) is six. He’s into Bakugan, Iron Man and Transformers. His favorite television show is Transformers and today his favorite color is blue. His best friend is Jessica and his favorite toy is his V-Reader. He’s an avid reader and loves to learn. School is still exciting for him and he loves his teacher, Ms. Antle.

Yes, I am aware of the fifth candle.

Silas is four. He likes Transformers and Thomas and is obsessed with Walmart gift cards because he thinks they’re debit cards. He totes three of them everywhere. His favorite televison show is Toopy and Binoo and today his favorite colors are pink and purple. He started Kinderstart this fall and his teacher is Mrs. Burt, Hayden’s teacher from last year. He can spell his own name, knows all of his alphabet and numbers and recognizes simple words.

Lolabean!

Lola turned 5 months old yesterday. She is so very tiny still, just in the 11th percentile for height and weight according to the public health nurse. Such a dainty little princess! She’s now sleeping in her crib for the majority of the night and her favorite pastimes are nursing and making sure she spends as much time in Mommy or Daddy’s arms as possible. She is a sweet little baby and a joy to have around.

King of the Playground

James is 8 now, and totally outgrown that skinny, gangly phase he was going through. He still loves Bakugan, but is starting to get into more big-kid pursuits now. He loves playing Nintendo DS and Wii and spending time with his friends. He’s very outdoorsy and has a ton of energy. He’s doing great in third grade!

Now that I’ve reminded you of your children on this date, let me fill you in on what you’re up to. You’re still into World of Warcraft, particularly roleplaying with your friend Emily. You’ve spent hours doing this, staying up way later than you should. You also like baking and cooking, trying to learn to use the new camera, and are attempting to set up your scrapbooking area so that you can make albums for the kids. You’ve been decorating for Christmas lately, and are discovering just how bad your OCD can get while trying to make the tree look “just so”. You decided on a red/ivory/gold theme this year. Next year you might want to get the kids their own tree to allow them to decorate because you ended up pulling off all the ornaments and restarting to make it look right.

Now to the reason that I’ve decided to write this odd post. I want you to remember how you feel today.

This morning your sons decided that sleep was for the weak and that a 5:45am wake-up call was perfectly acceptable. Your wonderful husband, having headed to bed earlier than you in a stroke of foresight that was almost uncanny, got up with them and allowed you to sleep until 7am. Where children get that much energy that early in the morning, I’m not quite sure. However, this is a common occurance with your children. They care not for silly things like waiting until sunrise! As much as you love them, it gets exhausting. It would be so good if once every month or so, someone else would take them for a weekend so you and your husband could sleep late, shop without having to wrangle a herd, and talk about grown-up things without having to punctuate your sentences with comments aimed toward the small fry.

I want you to remember this. So I wrote you this reminder.

Now that you’re older and your children are grown, perhaps you have grandchildren. Do they live close by? I hope so. I would hate to think that our family has scattered to the wind and only see each other on rare occasions. If they do and you’re enjoying peace and quiet on the weekends now that the nest is empty, I want you to do one small thing for me.

Make the offer to your children that once the grandchildren are old enough and they are ready to let them spend overnights without them, to take the grandchildren for one weekend per month. Give them the break that you need but no one will give you. Allow your children to reconnect with their spouses, sleep late for a change, relax while they run errands. Sure, it means that your weekend just got a lot noisier, a lot busier and your sleep just got a bit shorter, but your children will appreciate it far more than you can ever dream right now. Remember the exhaustion. Remember the frustration. Remember aching for some peace and quiet for even just one day.

Pick up the phone and make the offer. Perhaps they’ll refuse, and that’s okay. But just perhaps it will let them know that they’re not in this alone and that someone cares enough to want to make their lives just a little easier. And they will appreciate that. You sure would today.

Love,

You from December 15, 2010

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