Those days: I miss those days. And not because there were only three of them then, and I still got to have one more pregnancy, one more newborn. But because they were all still little. Because the maelstrom of adolescent hormones hadn't dervished up yet. Because they couldn't yet see all my faults. Because they didn't know, yet, how to tell me what I was doing wrong. Because troubles were only about not getting a Happy Meal every day of their lives.
Because things were more simple.
And yes, sure: I'm altering history. Rewriting it. It's never easy to be the mom; our memories filter out the details of unpleasantness and just leave the good bits. I know they frustrated me then, too. I know we argued and I was unfair and I let them down. I know it was hard to juggle my role as a teacher with my role as a mom. I know their sorrows were over more than just chicken nuggets. I know I felt, then, as shaky about my mothering skills as I do now.
And I also know: I should savor every phase of their existence. And I shouldn't get caught up in thinking the past was the only best part. And it could be harder than it is. And I do love them, desperately. And I am proud of them. And it is only painful because I love them and want to have good, strong relationships with them.
But I still find myself missing those days. When I could make everyone feel better just with a trip to Sonic during Happy Hour. When they liked to talk to me before they went to bed. When they would tell me all the details of their days; when they came to me with their hurts because they still knew I could fix them. When even the joyfulness wasn't tinged, yet, with misspoken, pointed words, failed expectations, and dire consequences. When it didn't feel like they were slipping away all too impossibly quickly; not just slipping, but fleeing. When their mantra wasn't "away, away." When just loving them was enough.
Those days. I miss those days.