About 20 ft from me, a little old man was sitting by himself, sipping on a cup of coffee. I could see him mumbling to himself, and continually looking up and staring at the kids. To be honest, it made me a little uncomfortable, only because I didn't know what he was saying. A few minutes of this passed before he started to speak louder and then I heard him say "Hello Miss. You've got yourself some cute little boys." I smiled and thanked him for his compliment. He continued to talk, but again, I couldn't hear him very well, his voice was so faint and remember, rowdy kids. I asked him to speak up. Next he said "I've been right where you are before. I have two sons and a daughter. Enjoy them now because they get to be a pain in the butt later!"
When you're in the thick of wiping snotty faces, handling poopy diapers, diffusing ridiculously epic temper-tantrums, sweeping the floor fifty times a day, making meals, dealing with sleep issues & your sanity is hanging by a thread... Doesn't it feel like it can't get much harder as a parent?? At least that's how I feel sometime. You know, when I'm in the midst of it all. Because lets be real, these tiny people and all of their dependency, takes a toll. Doesn't it? Like... oh my gosh can I just go pee by myself. Please. Please?? Please?!
But what that man said. "Enjoy them now, because they will get to be a pain in the butt later!", it really resonated with me. Two things crossed my mind immediately after he said that.
"That guy is crazy, ages 1 & 3 is probably the hardest stage ever!"
"Wait. How would I know?"
And there it is. With just a few short sentences, that little old man had no idea the epiphany he prompted. My snotty-dependent-diaper wearing little people are probably so much easier now, than their future back-talking-rebellious-teenage selves will be. Because I imagine that's the stage he had in mind when he told me "they become pain in the butts later!".
The rest of that day, I spent putting things into perspective. I made a decision to try and do better at taking the bad with the good. And appreciate how precious my little boys are. Enjoy the fact that they NEED me, as opposed to wishing they'd do things for themselves. Because one day? One day they won't need me like that anymore. They will want to do things their way, on their time. They will no longer think hugs and kisses are awesome. And in fact, they will hate them. My little boys will grow up and probably spend a better part of their tween/teenage years resenting Philip and I.
But that day isn't today.
Today, my children love me unconditionally. And I think they even like me sometimes. So... I'll take it, I'll take right now. Just the way they are.