A few nights ago I found my husband looking through our old family photos on the computer. (We are peas in a pod, no?!) We oohed and ahhed over the classics. We laughed over ones that we didn't remember. We got all nostalgic about our first home fully furnished with patio furniture. And together we wondered where in the heck our babies went.
Eventually we switched from photos to home videos, and one in particular made me laugh and get all philosophical at the same time (which, if you haven't gathered by now, is kind of how I roll.) My husband was at work and I had laid my then 3-year-old and 3 month old on the bed together. Big sister got up and started jumping up and down on the bed, making her baby brother laugh hysterically, and when she was finished jumping she would flop down on the bed with a scream, which he would happily mimic. I thought it was so cute, I encouraged her to do it about 5 more times. "Do it again, Sissy. Make Bubba scream again."
As I watched that video nearly four years later, I was struck by how much time had changed things. Not only is my baby even older than his sister was in that video, but there is no way we could relive that scenario in our house now. As my husband and I laughed aloud, I interjected my thought: Could you imagine what we would do now if we found those two jumping and screaming on the bed? There would be no 'do it again, Sissy.' More like, "Have you two lost your ever-lovin' minds?! Cut that out right now!"
And I'm not gonna lie...that kind of bums me out.
Once upon a parent, I was surprised to find I was pregnant with a baby girl. I loved babies. I always wanted to have a baby. I was lucky enough to grow up with exposure to babies. But I had no idea what to do with a baby. So when I became a parent, I simply played with them.
Like all the time.
I don't own that outfit anymore. Face palm.
It was so natural to play with them, I didn't even notice if I looked like a fool while doing it.
I played with them so much, sometimes it didn't even register that what we were doing might be dangerous.
Seriously, who reads to their kid in the middle of a sidewalk?!?!
We made messes and we celebrated them.
I'm not always so sure I know where that mom went. Between the carpooling and the scheduling and the schooling and the growing up, she's not always that easy to find. But I hope I haven't lost her altogether.
I know that I can't let my kids jump on the bed and scream in the house anymore. We have to, at some point, make a collective effort to get our food into our mouths instead of on our faces. And if I ever tried to pile us on to a swing at the same time a) we'd break it and b) my daughter would probably die of embarrassment. But I want to try to play along with them as long as they'll let me.
And maybe if I'm lucky, they'll let me for a long time.