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Capture the Moment

The baby is teething, the children are fighting, and my husband just called and said to eat dinner without him.

 

Okay, one of these days you’ll shout, "Why don’t you grow up and act your age?"
. . . and they will.

 

Or, "You guys get outside and find yourself something to do and don’t slam the door."

 

. . . and they won’t.
 
You’ll straighten up their bedrooms all neat and tidy with bumper stickers discarded, bed-spread tucked and smoothed, toys all displayed on the shelves, hangers in the closets, animals caged, and you’ll say out loud, "Now I want you to stay this way!"

 

. . . and they will.

 

Then you’ll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn’t been picked to death, a cake with no finger traces through the frosting, and you’ll say, "Now there’s a meal for company."

 

. . . but you’ll eat it alone.

 

And you’ll say, "I want complete privacy on the phone! No dancing around, no pantomimes, no demolition crews! Silence! Do you hear me?"

 

. . . and you’ll have it.

 

No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti, no more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent, no more dandelion bouquets, no more iron-on patches, no more wet-knotted shoe strings, no more tight boots, or rubber bands on pony tails.
No baby sitter on New Year’s Eve. Washing clothes only once a week. No PTA meetings, no car pools, having your own roll of tape, no more Christmas presents made out of toothpicks and paste, no more wet-oatmeal kisses, no tooth fairy, no giggles in the dark, no knees to Band-aid.

 

Only a memory of a voice crying, "Why don’t you grow up?"

 

And in the silence will come the echo, "I did."


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