Wednesday, 3 November 2010

If Only, I Remember, I'm Amazed!

I had a very interesting experience yesterday attempting to arrange a short vacation for our family. It used to be that all I had to do was pick the dates, source the flights, pack the bags and off we went. Ok! Maybe it wasn't all that simple. In reality, there were bags and bags of clothes, toys, food, diversions, and age-appropriate paraphernalia that travelled with us. Sometimes we would spend several days in a car (before the invention of in-auto DVD players) with both boys harnessed into individual car seats that severely limited their movements. We shared cramped motel rooms and shlepped diaper bags everywhere we went, but for some reason all of that seemed simple compared to now.

Yesterday I found myself tethered to the computer with one of those travel sites on-screen, while I had both boys on separate phone lines assessing their schedules. (Neither lives at home nor do they reside together!) We also had to factor in Younger Son's Young Lady and her timetable, so that she might join us this year. She is coming from a different starting location, so I had two separate windows open on the computer with two separate flight plans. In order to facilitate all of this mayhem, Younger Son was texting her while talking to me while I was on the computer. Got all that? It was truly migraine inducing. Add to all of that mess, was The Husband's insistence (whimpering plea?) that we make one single trip to the airport to pick them all up. OY!!  Suffice it to say that it all worked out (an hour or so later!) and that I was able to procure reasonable flights at surprisingly reasonable rates for the season. It was tough, but it mattered. The fact that my children still want to spend an extended period of time with me was worth every minute spent. But, it got me to thinking about those early days. I used to say "If Only....".

  • If only they could use the bathroom then I wouldn't have to carry the diapers.
  • If only they would grow a bit, we could get rid of the car seats.
  • If only they would be more adventurous with food we wouldn't have to stock the refrigerator with Cheez Whiz.
  • If only they were a little older, they could walk themselves to school and I wouldn't have to go out on a cold January morning.
  • If only they were young teens that could stay a few hours on their own, then we wouldn't have to pay for babysitters.
  • If only they could drive themselves places, I could say goodbye to carpools.
  • If only....

The "If Onlys...." then turned into "I Remembers...".

  • I remember being amazed at my early readers.
  • I remember when we turned what could have been miserable experiences into family jokes and family folklore.
  • I remember the wonder at seeing and sharing new things.
  • I remember enjoying sitting down to family dinners and sharing our days. (in spite of the Cheez Whiz!)
  • I remember all of the parent/teacher conferences (even the tough ones!) and all of the performances, speeches, debates, and song contests. I remember sitting and weeping with pride at their confidence and accomplishments.
  • I remember....
I suddenly realized yesterday that "If Onlys..." and "I Remembers..." are laments and that lamenting the past might have a place, but it doesn't serve to articulate what really matters now. That is instead reserved for the "I'm Amazed...."

  • I'm amazed at the men they have become and the fact that maybe I had a little something to do with it.
  • I'm amazed at the diversity they display in their interests and that musical theatre and sports can so easily coexist in their lives.
  • I'm amazed at the independence in their thoughts. They listen to all sides and then make their own judgements.
  • I'm amazed at how important camp was in their lives and how it instilled within them a concrete Jewish base, even while they now search for answers as to what Judaism and religion in general  means to them.
  • I'm amazed that spending time together as a family still matters and will always matter to them.
  • I'm amazed....

I think that I prefer the world of "I'm Amazed...". Life goes by very quickly. Spending an hour of chaos yesterday in order to facilitate more of "I'm Amazed..." was an hour well spent. I am very much looking forward to our family vacation in the southern sun.

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