I just watched the new(ish) Adam Sandler movie Click. It's about a guy who gets a remote that lets him fast-forward or pause parts of his life. He uses it to fast-forward the plodding time until his promotion, and of course discovers that this means he lost time with his family, too. The problem gets worse and worse until he's missed practically his whole life, and also he's lost his wife, missed his kids' childhoods, missed the death of a parent, etc. Looking back, he realizes he's done none of the important things and all of the stupid things, and he's wasted his entire life.
Is there any movie more likely to strike a parent's heart with fear and anxiety? Already I worry that while I'm "taking a break from the kids," what I'm really doing is spending time with the computer that I'll look back on later as a colossal waste of time that took me away from my dear, dear children. Okay, so they're driving me nuts now and if I don't get away from them the yelling is going to start, but what if one of them DIES? And then I'll think back and I'll remember all the times I said, "Not now, honey, just let Mommy check her email." OH MY GOD.
And what about all the times I hope for things to be over? I hope for potty-training to be over, for the tantrum stage to be over, for the back-talking thing to be over. But then I'll be old, and the house will be quiet and I'll have nothing to do, and my children will be far away and will think I'm foolish and old, and I'll pine for these days! I'll want nothing more than to wipe up pee drops from the floor around the toilet again! I'll have to beg one of my grown sons to come over and miss the bowl! I'm wasting my whole life!
I've been hoping for the morning sickness to hurry up and go away, but later I'll imagine this pregnancy in a glow of morning sunshine, when everything was beautiful and full of hope, and there were things to look forward to.
What is the matter with our brains, that they have to screw with us like this? We shouldn't have to feel as if we're missing things if we're not enjoying every single not-always-enjoyable second. This parenting thing is the best ever, but it can also be the worst ever, and it is a huge pain in the ass to realize that later on I'm going to be wishing I'd spent more time doing it. Right now I want to spend some time writing, or reading, or eating some Kit Kat Bites I don't have to share, but later on that won't seem important at all, and I'll be beating myself up for the hours I didn't spend cuddling the babies and playing games with my older kids. That sucks!
One reason I keep a journal (not this blog, but an actual physical journal) is that it lets me feel like I'm storing things up for later. I can't enjoy this deluge of parenting right now, while I'm drowning in it, but I can put some of it in a book and take it out later on and enjoy it then. I take too many photos for the same reason: if I take photos, I'm storing little bits of time. I can't see it now, when I'm so tired and barfy and just want to go to a store by myself, but I can see it later. Through TEARS, probably. URG.
And speaking of tears, I cried so hard during that movie I nearly barfed. Pregnancy hormones + pregnancy nausea + huge sentimental moment with the rain pouring down and declarations of love with music to match = sobbing + gagging.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...