Read this in Parents magazine tonight in an article titled Savor the Moments:
"Try this mental trick to help you readjust your thinking: In the course of a crazy day, imagine your biological parenthood clock wound forward to the time when your children have grown and left home. Picture their tousled bedrooms as clean and empty. See the backseat of the car vacuumed and without a carseat or crumbs. Playroom shelves neatly stacked with dusty toys. Laundry under control. Then rewind the imaginary clock back to now, and see today's minutes of mayhem for what they are: finite and fleeting."
When I read this I honestly pictured that old west scene right before a gun fight when the music comes on (wowowow weeyoweeyo...) and the tubleweed blows by. Dusty, dry, and deserted. Sad.
I've been complaining a lot about all of the things I have to do each day, but can't because my feet are sucking the life out of me. But I don't need perfect feet to spend more quality time with my kids. I can snuggle more, read more books, play more games, build more Lego-masterpieces, and dress more Barbies for the ball. The powerful image of my house being clean, empty, and devoid of the whirlwind that is my children is devastating.
I still feel it's important to maintain a clean and orderly house, have well fed and healthy children, be punctual, and fulfill all other responsibilities. However, it is more important that I savor this time as a parent, because once my kids are all grown up and important, I'll need a big vault of extra special memories to carry me through the lonely days in between grandbaby visits.