Finding those rose-coloured glasses

Enjoy every moment of these years.  They pass far too quickly.

The wise words of a far older woman (grandmother, probably great-grandmother) to me as I packed up my (chattering, bickering, whining) children, slung heavy diaper bag over my shoulder, and attempted to shoulder open the door on my way out.  I gritted my teeth, smiled, nodded.

I remember those exact words given to me years ago, during my carefree university years.  I had been lamenting various essays and exams coming in that busy, cold month of November, and my dad said, “These are the easiest years of your life.  You’ll never have such carefree years again.”  And, once again, I gritted my teeth, smiled, nodded (and probably said something rude because, after all, he was my dad and not some lovely old grandmother).  But I knew better.  I knew that these university years were far too stressful and overwhelming to be compared to the freedom of having a job and a paycheque and all that free time

Now when I flip through my university photo albums, my heart sighs with lovely memories.  Memories of dancing under an enormous tree with my roommates, singing “Someday my Prince will Come” under the starry skies.  Of spreading homework across a picnic table on an autumn-warm afternoon.  Of brisk mornings racing to the bus, my backpack bouncing on my back and my breath puffing out in front of me.  Of dear friendships, first loves, deep philosophical conversations, midnight Sev (Seven Eleven) runs for slurpees in the dead of Winnipeg winter; pool tournaments lasting into the wee smas, camp retreats and jamming with the worship band, Purple City (those of you who know must just wink wink and keep the secret) and football games.  And yes, memories of hours of schoolwork – sitting by my window, chin in my hand, as I composed an essay on Cinderella or tried to figure out syntax errors or analyze statistics.

But, as you will note, most of those memories do not involve tons of stress.  And not because it didn’t exist but because, in the grand scheme of things, all of the joys and hopes and giggles of that life triumph over the hyperventilation over exams and caffeine-induced stupors when pulling all-nighters to get a paper done that I should have completed days before.

Funny how those rose-coloured glasses are nowhere to be found in the now moments of life.  Such pressing things take a toll on us: children begging to be picked up while we cook dinner, or stubbornly refusing to put on their shoes in a rush to get out the door, or very vehemently and vocally disobeying instructions not to beat on their sisters.  Laundry hampers heaped to overflowing with dirty clothes, windows streaked with little fingerprints, fridges that are desperate to be cleaned, and a floor with crumbs as numerous as the stars.  Constant repetition of the word “NO!” from both mommy and child.

Nightly I flop, exhausted, onto the couch, look at my husband, and realize that the only thing I want to do is close my eyes, listen to the silence and dream of days to come, when my children are more independent and less whiny.

Oh, but when I think of those other moments…

  • arms squeezing my neck so tightly I can hardly breath
  • cuddles in bed
  • singing songs with two high small-child voices joining in
  • funny imaginative stories invented by preschoolers
  • remarkable inside-jokes presented by a toddler

I know in the harder moments of life that yes, my dad was certainly right – those university years were indeed among the most carefree of my life.

And I know, too, that that little old grandmother was right, too.  Someday I will look back and desperately miss these years.  So I’m going to hold on to each moment – in case I blink and suddenly my girls are all grown up and I’m missing the arms around my knees, the happy giggles, and even the banging of spoons on metals bowls amid shrieks of laughter – yes, even that.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lauren Wiens
    Dec 14, 2011 @ 06:21:12

    If you find them…do mail me a pair too 🙂


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