I saw a beautiful quote from a male celebrity (can’t remember his name) the other day in passing. Although I can’t remember where I saw it or the entire quote, the overall message has stayed with me. The quote was something like… “Parenting is all about nostalgia – nostalgia for things that haven’t happened yet and having to deal with the fact that those things are going to happen one day.”
What a true statement that is, and thank you man-I-can’t-remember for saying it. First, I was under the impression that it was the only one feeling nostalgic over things that haven’t even happened yet. Second, I had never thought of it that way before, which is helpful.
I experience this “future” Nostalgia all the time and have to fight back tears often. Someone says something cute, and I tear up. If the kids are nice to each other, I tear up. When I even think about Christmas, I tear up. My little daughter is so used to it, that she often asks, “Mama, are you sad??” And I say, “No, I’m not sad.”
But how do you explain to a 2 year old that you are tearing up because you know you’ll miss that moment in the future? You know you’ll attend a graduation and remember this exact moment and cry at how big they have become.
It’s worse if you’ve had any type of loss. Then you are just a befuddling mess because you know you’ll miss it one day, and you already do miss it with someone else.
And just as I type this, my daughter came to show me something her father gave her this morning. After showing me she said, “This is my favorite thing daddy has given me when I was little.”
I don’t want her to think I’m sad so much of the time (since I’m not), but I can’t control it. When she says cute things or talks about how much she loves being little, it hits me right in the feels.
Being a mom is challenging and takes so much energy that I don’t always have, but it means so much to me. It’s the most important job I’ve ever had/will ever have, and it matters the most to me. Because it matters so much, I’m filled with passion. This passion manifests itself in the form of tears because smallness is special and fleeting.
For now, I’m trying to soak it all up – the good, the bad, and the ugly. But don’t talk to me at a birthday, graduation, Santa visit, or any other milestone moment because I am barely holding it together. One word, and I’m liable to lose it completely.
If anyone has advice about how to explain this struggle to young children, I’d love to hear it. For now, I’m sticking with, “Sometimes when you’re really happy, you have tears.