On my way home tonight I stopped at a former colleague’s house to return a baby backpack I had borrowed over the winter break for my visiting 9 month-old grand-nephew. My colleague and I hadn’t see each other for a number of months, so I came inside for a few minutes to visit and see his family. He and his wife have two of the cutest redheaded boys in the world, and it had been quite a while since I had seen them. They are now 4 and 2, so it was fun to chat and catch up.
Watching the chaos of a home with two busy little boys caused me to remember what our house once looked like and sounded like when my husband and I were deep in the weeds of raising our four daughters. Almost empty-nesters now, it has been many years since our evenings were anything like I witnessed tonight. I took it all in.
On my drive home, I couldn’t help but remember all of the crazy, demanding aspects of being a parent of young children. The constant chatter that seemed endless, the never-ending request for my attention, and what seemed like ceaseless piles of dirty dishes and laundry demanding my attention every.minute.of.the.day.
Tonight in the quiet of my kitchen, I began comparing my then with my now, and found a poem come to life.
Dinnertime chaos buzzing with conversations
of everyone’s highs and lows of the day
Dinnertime calm for two (sometimes three) at the kitchen island,
scrolling on our phones, reflecting on the day’s events
Bedtime baths, jammies & stories
running, squealing, chasing down the hall
Bedtime texts, Instagram, Snapchat check-ins
savoring a book of my choice, dogs at my feet
Middle of the night bad dreams,
slipping in between mom & dad for comfort
Middle of the night curfew checks,
a gentle whisper in my ear, “I’m home, mom”
Sometimes all too quiet.