Bad weeks have a funny way of creeping up on you. Sometimes you can see the culprit of the bad week coming from a mile away, but most of the time, you’re are moving along in life quite normally, then all of a sudden, a series of events or stressors lands you plopped in the middle of a bad week. It’s funny how small the details of the bad week can be when retelling it to a friend, and I won’t bore you with those details here. In reality, most of them are insignificant and will soon pass.
In darkness are spots of light. This past weekend was my mother’s sixtieth birthday party, which brought all of my aunts and my gran into town. Riley was so excited to see her cousins the week before that she hardly slept. She and all the other party-goers were not let down. It was a family and friends festivity to remember.
After all of the festivities wrapped up and the partiers made their way home the next morning, one guest decided to remain, my gran. Like most visits with my gran, I was regaled with stories from her past. Most about the kindergarten class she ran in her basement and her adventures in raising five girls. Sensing my frustration with my most mischievous child, Gran launched into a story about hers. She talked about how my aunt had snuck out of the window one night, and Gran had sat on the edge of her bed to meet her when she returned. She went back years before that event and told of how that same aunt had played the piano loudly in the mornings as she was the first one up and she wanted her sisters to awaken and play. When told to do something quiet like read as she waited for others to get up she did just that. Except that she read the book aloud. Very much aloud.
The stories made me giggle and, whether it was her intention or not, made me feel better about all of the antics my girls had pulled this week that had caused me such stress. More important, it quickly made me appreciate that this will all be over someday. This mayhem of raising children will pass. We don’t get to live in this beautiful mess forever. The laughs, the tears, the tear-your-hair-out frustration all ends. What’s left are memories clouded over with a happy nostalgia. Moms love their kids. So much so that even though we feel hurt or deeply disappointed in the moment, the memory that remains of the event is a happy one, or a funny one. The frustrating moment painted over by that underlying feeling that we just don’t recognize when we’re in the moment. The feeling of how much we love them. And a bit of sadness about how much we miss those moments.