I would give anything to hear my kids fight again. If you are reading this and have small children, I know you want the fighting to stop. Of course you do, you are a normal human who likes peace and worries that you are doing something wrong. I am just relaying this truth from a place where I never want you to arrive. I miss the fighting and so much more, even things I never would know to miss.
I miss toys all over the floor. There always are some but there should be twice as many. I miss trying to get ready on time in the morning and looking for twice as many small socks. They always seemed to disappear as soon as I put them down. It used to be such a relief when summer came and I did not have to deal with socks.
I miss how easily I could fall asleep as soon as I sat down. I miss the railing on in my mind about how there is never any time for myself, which is gone so much sooner than it should be. I miss the fatigue induced by pushing a double stroller somewhere too far for my kids to walk. I miss trying to figure out how to go to the bathroom in public while alone with two little ones. If you managed that today at the beach or the movies, you are a champ.
School is starting soon. I have a list to fulfill. I never had a chance to go shopping with two lists and complain about how many plastic folders and glue sticks and composition books. The feeling of knowing my daughter did not live long enough to go to school, I cannot put that into words and I do not even want you to have to read about that.
When shopping now it has been familiar to me to see the little girl section and feel my heart drop, deeply. I am grateful beyond words for all of the times I was able to choose tutus and dresses and glittery sneakers with lights. I usually speak to Susanna (perhaps not out loud) and say, “Wow! Look at that!” I then need to move on and look for what my son needs. This week I realized while in a shoe store that we are in a new chapter where my son is too old to wear light-up sneakers with superheroes. It seems every day that he is able to do more and more without me. Even without Susanna’s absence this would be sad. Time and growth and change come with sadness for everyone.
I am not saying that I have become tolerant of my surviving child at all times. Children do not make sense to adults and act out needs in ways which are to us annoying. This is part of the whole picture. I am guessing that when we all cross over and can see our lives with perfect eternal vision, every past moment will be part of the beauty. Every moment to come will be a peaceful moment full of acceptance. But not now.
What I am saying is that from where I stand, in this place I wish no one would ever need to go again, is that you would miss the fighting too. I am saying that often I find myself in the midst of angry and frustrated thoughts and sometimes words escaping my mouth when I am able to see a truth. I would miss this if my child were gone. I never used to think this thought, because I never thought it would happen to me. It did. All we have is this moment, however this moment is going. Make it a moment of love and kindness if you can.