January 31, 2012

I Wonder What It Will Be

I heard an older lady (for age reference, she said her grandchildren were now "big kids") seriously, no-kidding, no-paraphrasing tell a woman with little kids to "Enjoy every moment!" She used those actual words, verbatim.

My question is: Aren't the people who keep saying this READING BLOGS? Two and a half years ago it was ALREADY a beaten-to-death topic.

My second question is: Does this mean OUR generation WON'T do this, when OUR grandchildren are big kids, because we'll have read so many hundreds of times that people feel like leaping off cliffs when they hear it?

My third question is: In which case, what will OUR well-meant, make-other-women-feel-like-jumping-off-cliffs-but-we-just-won't-stop-saying-it expression be?

29 comments:

Kristi said...

I LOVE THIS. Some may not get it, but Oh How I do.

1) Doubtful.
2) Doubtful. (And Sadly.)
3) EXCELLENT question.*

*Shall provoke much thought.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

1) Yes... but not the same way that we do.

2) Sadly, I don't think ENOUGH of our generation read blogs for this to be true.

3) Oversharing? In a "I can't believe you shared that with the Internet!" kind of way? Meh. Doesn't seem like such a BIG crime.

Sarah said...

1. Unlikely. Which now has me wondering: What ARE they doing?!?

2. Why should the next generation be spared? :). Unlikely, but I'd like to remain optimistic.

3. Hmmmm... What if it's blogging?!

Nowheymama said...

3.) Ooh! Ooh! We'll lecture them on how they need to blog to record every moment!

Superjules said...

I'm thinking our crime might be saying: Don't you READ BLOGS?

Because I find myself wondering that whenever in SO MANY situations.
Don't you read blogs? Don't you know that you're not supposed to judge people for being either stay at home or working moms? Don't you know that you're not supposed to make negative comments about someone's baby name? Don't you know that a giant metal chicken is a Beyonce? Don't you know that whether someone is breastfeeding or formula feeding is none of your bidness? Don't you know never to tell someone to "just wait!" because you're sure their situation will inevitably get more difficult. Don't you CLEAN ALL THE THINGS?

velocibadgergirl said...

I want there to be a Like Button under Superjules's comment so I can click it.

Heather said...

The sad truth is that we'll turn into her.

How do I know this? Because I already find myself turning into a grumpy old woman...and while I'll be tollerant of some things in my old age, such as alternative lifestyles (there has to be SOME societal change), I will certainly be thinking, "Children these days, dont they get taught manners...they should be at home doing their homework not out here getting into trouble!" Coz I'm already starting.

Paloma said...

A great article on this exact crime.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/dont-carpe-diem_b_1206346.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

DomestiKook said...

Uggs. Uggs are our crime against humanity.

Doing My Best said...

I fear we WILL do this. My line of thinking:
pregnancy/sleepless nights/babies screaming in your ear/children who NEVER! STOP! TALKING! cause brain damage->brain damage leads to people saying "Enjoy every moment!"

Slim said...

Our crime will be that we weren't all Superjules.

Amanda said...

I think our crime against humanity will be the phrase "I'm so putting this on my blog". My kids already ask "are you putting this on your blog?" and my least favorite "NO you can't take a picture because you'll just put it on your blog.

Debra Lloyd said...

Hmmm...as an older lady with big kids I have to say yes, we do read blogs and some of us even write them. Of course we know that parenthood is hard. I've often said that it was the hardest thing and the best thing that I've ever done. But it's not all hard. There is a lot of joy mixed in with grind of day-top-day life.
I think that when people say or think that they are really saying they are feeling wistful for parts of those days. The good parts...the sweet parts. And wishing that they had spent a little more time savoring those parts because, in looking back, it passes very quickly.
And will you do it once your children are "big?" Probably. It's human nature.

Maggie said...

This is so timely. Our dog was accidentally let out on Friday and has run away and gone missing. My kids are crushed. We are desperately searching. Family in turmoil etc.

So far my mom has hit all of the blogging no no highlights from "at least you haven't found a body yet" to "imagine how people whose children go missing feel!". Um yes undeniably the latter would be more horrible than I can imagine and the former is ok, none of those kinds of statements is helpful. She has GOT to start reading blogs!

Alice said...

i think nowheymama's got it. scolding young moms to be sure they blog every moment!! :)

(i do truly agree that reading blogs has made me more understanding, more knowledgeable, less judgmental, and more aware of what i say to people who i would not previously have realized were in delicate states. THANK YOU INTERWEBS.)

Saly said...

I love Superjules.

It's hard to think about it, but maybe I will be wistful for these crazy days with crazy children when even my grand kids are big kids.

MAYBE once we are out of this being the present, we will look fondly on the past, and tell those young whippersnappers to enjoy every moment.

Liz said...

I think Debra Llyod said it very well.

MargieK said...

OK, I'm in-between, maybe a little younger than the "older" lady you're grousing about (53). My "kids" are in their 20s, and I have a 14-month-old grandson.

I read blogs -- but keep in mind they're not ALL "mommy blogs," and they certainly ALL don't espouse your point of view. I'd guess less than 50% of the people in my generation follow blogs (so it follows that amongst those older, the percentage is probably even lower, and the percentage that have been sufficiently exposed to blogs with the above point of view lower still). My mom (79)can barely figure out how to e-mail (and she's more progressive than most of her peers), and I can guarantee you that she doesn't read blogs (not even my "baby" sister's) and is certainly NOT up-to-date on what you apparently consider common courtesy.

I can remember saying and thinking about things I would "never" do when I was a mom, and my mom would say "just you wait until you're a mom." Point being that with age and experience (and a little distance) comes a modified perspective.

I agree with Debra Lloyd. The people advising you to "cherish every moment" are not unaware of the everyday difficulties you face with small children. Nor are they sadistically expecting you to "enjoy" cleaning up vomit, poop explosions, and temper tantrums. They simply want you to remind you to appreciate what you have -- warts and all -- while you have it, because it won't be long before you're in my shoes, looking at young moms (or your grandchildren) and wistfully remembering those days. Is that really so wrong?

If you're rolling your eyes thinking, "Duh, OF COURSE I love my kids and all their cute special words; OF COURSE I'm cherishing their extreme cuteness," keep in mind that none of us are mind readers; people are trying to connect, to share their humanity. They don't know your hot buttons, so stop getting all offended when they inadvertently touch one. Cut them some slack and understand that they come from a different place, but have more in common with you than you may realize.

Two days ago I attended the funeral of a 24-year-old "man" who had been a playmate of my two sons. He was buried in an avalanche while snowmobiling. He leaves behind a loving fiance -- and the message I took away from his eulogy -- presented by a friend of the family whose two sons also were playmates of the departed -- is to enjoy life, cherish every moment, and let those you love know you appreciate them. A good message for everyone.

Sarah said...

Oh, Margie. Sigh. It's called humor. No one's calling for this poor grandmother's BLOOD, for heaven's sake.

StephLove said...

I know you will appreciate this Facebook exchange. One of my friends posts that her toddler son has a stomach bug and a mutual friend responds:

"Try not to let the beauty and wonder of the puke slip away. They grow up so fast."

Swistle said...

StephLove- "The beauty and the wonder of the puke." Yes. Indeed. CHERISH EVERY MOMENT.

Swistle said...

MargieK- You're reading into this a lot of things I didn't say. I suggest checking each counter-point you've made, and then seeing if I made any such corresponding point in my post.

Michelle said...

YES! It's so strange to hear much-discussed cliches actually being said!

I think our generation's downfall seems to be "just wait."

Michelle said...

Boy, MargieK, you sure must think poorly of Swistle to put all those unpleasant words in her mouth and opinions in her head. I think you maybe read someone else's post.

Becki D. said...

Love it: "What will OUR crime against humanity be?"

I understand and have also had more guilty feelings heaped on me when receiving the "enjoy every moment!" advice, but I also wholeheartedly agree with your next post: people who say this (generally) mean well. They are trying to relate, and I think also trying to remind us frazzled Moms that this is just a phase: they do grow up, there are things about this that will be missed. Try to enjoy it!

twisterfish said...

I, too, agree with Debra Lloyd. That's exactly what I was going to say.

Swistle said...

I too absolutely agree with Debra Lloyd that that is what is meant. But then, why say the thing they don't mean, when it is received completely differently and makes mothers want to leap off cliffs? How about a modification, something like "Oh, their sweet little faces make me feel nostalgic for my own babies! It was a hard time, but it's so wonderful to look back on! I wish I could have bottled some of it to enjoy now!"

CARRIE said...

It seems like the women who say "Cherish it all" should get together with the women who say, "Eeeck, I remember those hard days," and perhaps combine their statements, so that we know that they understand the turmoils of living with puny tyrants as well as the wisdom to understand how dear a time it was, despite its tiresomeness.

Note to self: combine these statements when you are one of these women in the store seeing a young mom with kids and a look of despair on her face.

Kelsey said...

The other day an older woman at the library looked at the kids and I and said, "Isn't it wonderful?" Then she added, "95% of the time!"

I thanked her for the 95%.