Monday, November 21, 2011

until tomorrow...{pondering}

i have a list...a long to do list. it seems to grow faster than i can draw a colored line of my choice through it. i know i am no different than anyone else, but i want to enjoy this season with my two little ones even more this year.

jeff and i stumbled upon our old videos of the kids recently. we watched a couple and as much as i enjoyed and hung on every single second of each video, my heart rejoiced in having the memories tucked safely away in a black cd case, but was heavy at the same time. it hurts a little to hear those little voices and little faces knowing you can never go back.

we can never get these moments back. it hit me hard long after jeff had gone to bed. i couldn't sleep. the next day i called kelle and tears ran down my face as i told her of the emotional night it had been to relive moments of the past.

she told me she understood and said that it can be hard for her as well but that it is supposed to feel that way. she made me feel better while being honest at the same time. "you can't go back, but watching them can remind you of what you want to do better with today!" it was good advice.

i was happy to hear that it wasn't just some pregnancy hormone pulsing through my body causing me to over analyze each thought, idea and emotion. it's normal to feel a bit of a loss when looking at those videos.

the next night, peyton asked me if we could see another video of when she was a baby and i made up some excuse as to why another night would be better. i lied. an innocent lie. the truth was, it was hard for me to enjoy the movies without thinking, 'did i do enough with them? did i spend enough time with them? did i lose my temper on those babies when i was exhausted and unshowered? did play with them enough, tell them i love them enough times so it stuck? praise them enough or too much, smile enough,...????

i was turning such beautiful keepsake memories into this doom and gloom crap and it sucked. i never wanted to watch another video again.

but i did, because peyton asked.

again, i looked for signs of good parenting but this time i cried happy tears at the baby voice i swore years ago, i would never forget. time and new happy memories softly fade cherished memories from the past. it's supposed to happen like that. it's like your brain making room for better things to come. it's also a reminder to take more video and snap more photos!!!

looking back at your children at any age less than what they are presently, must feel similar to anyone. i realize this little pang of wanting to go back will always be.

however, i've learned that watching these home movies of a time that seemed so innocent...two newbie parents just trying to do it right. learning together as a threesome, then a family four. a time when taking video was second nature because neither of us wanted to miss a thing. we were younger, had less grey hair and cooing over babies was all that was on the agenda.

watching these videos have now become a learning experience for me. to remind me that we all do the best we can. at any given time, we are all doing what we think is right.

now when i watch the videos, and we have been each night, we all laugh as a family at the baby talk of beckham and the dancing big sister. it's a chance to take a break from a life that seems to get busier as each child gets older.

no more heavy heart. now when i watch, i remind myself to be a little more like that younger mama in the movie. i'm proud of that mama. the me that used to spend most of my days down on the floor playing and loving and changing diapers. the girl who started off not sweating the small stuff. the little things i and i'm sure other parents eventually worry about when their kids are old enough to participate in other social acitivities. i've learned, it's just a phase and it will pass. i used to stress out that peyton wouldn't stay in her dancing class. all of the other ballerinas would sweetly mimic what the dance teacher would ask, but peyton would run out at any given moment to find me and cry that she wanted to go home. what's so wrong with that? she was three.

at the time, it seemed like such a failure on my part of instilling good independent skills and self confidence. i remember crying and googling ways to learn how to make her want to be a part of something other than me. the same thing happened with soccer.

none of it mattered then. she just didn't want to go. so what. i'm a little ashamed at the way i obsessed over it. now i wish she would hesitate before she ran off with a friend to play.

she's a normal little girl. beckham is a typical little boy. they all learn on their own time.

it's amazing what a little seasoned parenting can have on one's perspective. and when a heavy heart over takes a happy moment while taking a cruise down memory lane, it will quickly pass when you look at your children right along side of you...smiling at their younger selves. laughing and smiling. it's a reminder to enjoy. they are! i will too. learning from them...again.

until tomorrow tonight when i write a full post- this was just a little ponder.

please go take some video. your future self will love you for it.





dig this chick said...

I love the honesty and relatability of this post. Good stuff, mama.


Jannice said...

I cried just reading this...same thoughts go through my head daily...and yet, I know I'm a good mommy...but I always wonder if I do good enough. I guess we're all the same and its all normal! :)

Mrs Mason said...

I love your last line Heidi. It's no comparison I know but I have to rehome a cat of mine this weekend. I am going to video her as much as I can this week, then when the grief has passed, I know I will have it to look back on. xx

Kris said...

i cried through this whole post, heidi. believe me, you are not alone. my son and i watch little video clips together and he smiles and laughs while my heart aches a little. But I still smile. You are right that it makes us want to do 'now' better. And mostly make those memories stick. Sometimes I sit back in a moment and think " i want to remember this forever" and if for some reason i don't think of my son will tell me..'momma go get your camera' I love that.

Anonymous said...

Oh moment like you had..the sad heavy heart when you realize they are not babies anymore happened in a church. My girl's piano recital was Sunday and as I dressed her in the dress she picked out..put on her first pair of pantyhose and put her first official sparkly pumps on her I was waiting for the happy to kick in. It did not. I felt so sad. When she walked up to the baby grand in the church my jaw hurt from clenching it..but the moment that really got me was when she sat down and her high heeled feet touched the ground..last year her chubby mary jane clad feet dangled and came no where near the floor. I had to choke back those hot tears when I realized those chubby dangling feet are something I would never see again. She is becoming so independent..asking me for less of my time and doing her own thing more and more. Parts of it I like but parts of it I. do. not. want to give up. I guess we have to grow as they grow-up.
Let me tell thing I know is that we parents who ask those questions of ourselves, did we spend enough time with them and such...or cry over feet that are touching the ground this year...well, I think that says pretty much all it needs to about what kind of parents we are. Love and give your belly a little pat from me to your lovely little jelly bean! ♥♥♥

lynne said...

Oh, no......tears and wishes for the impossible are all a part of being a mama. It's one of the things that keeps us striving to do better, to make new promises to our grown up selves, to find a new appreciation for our little ones which miraculously pops up when we're on the verge of frustration. You, Heidi, have grown so much as a mama, as a woman. I'll never forget running into you at Waterside, way back when Peyton was still a baby. It was a chance meeting that turned into a 45 minute "chat"! You were questioning everything, but mostly yourself. Now, here you are questioning and then finding your own peace with your questions. You are blessed and you are loved by me, no matter how infrequently we see each other. Have a thankful holiday.

Sarah said...

I'm going to get out my flip camera TONIGHT. I'm awful about it, but the voices don't come through in pictures and I love these little voices. Last night at dinner, Molly, 20 months, bowed her head to pray and said "hank uuhh" and omg, I wish I could have caught that on camera. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Shannon said...

I think every Mama worries if they do enough. I know I do. I cry as I look at my teen, going off to homecoming, and becoming this incredible young woman...and I look back at her videos...the ones of her dancing, wearing a tutu and a crown. You rock. For real! XOXO

Daniele said... it and SO relate. It hurts in such a good way to see my girls when they were younger (and they're only 2 and 4). I NEED to take more video. Going to charge the battery now!!

trinity said...

We lost my brother in a rock climbing accident on July 2. He was 29. Reading this makes me want to go watch the videos my mom took of us as children - I'm so thankful we have them. Then again I don't know if I'm ready yet to open that part of my grief - to see what was. And yet - while I feel almost scared to watch those videos because they might make me sad, you are right - those people in the videos are gone, in a way - at least changed. They have grown up a little, or a lot. Our actions in those moments were pure and honest - we were being what we knew to be.
So maybe I won't dread pulling out our old family movies - because even though my brother is no longer living - the person in those videos is who he WAS - and who he was as a child AND as an adult was an amazing individual. So thankful to be his sister.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Jeanne said...

Great post Heidi! I feel like I can't delete any video from the kids, even if it is horrible. I love looking back on it and just reliving their youth. However, my oldest is a mere 3.5 and youngest is 10 months, so I have this huge feeling that at some point I will be feeling the exact same way as you. It is hard not to question every move you make as a parent. It is hard to stand strong in your confidence when you ate surrounded by doubt.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Heidi, love ya! Such a beautiful post.

Jill B. (Overland Park, KS)

Sebina van der Lei said...

beautiful post

Just Trying Not to Blink .... said...

I can sooo relate. Sometimes I wonder why I take pictures and videos when it makes me so sad to watch them a few years later... everyone tells you not to blink when they are small, but you still don't fully understand until your little ones start growing up. My third little girl is 17 months old now and sometimes I feel like she is getting a much better mom because now I KNOW how fast they grow up and I feel like I have really settled into motherhood - less worried about my work, social life etc. and more willing to just sit back and enjoy her. Less worried about hitting the milestones or when she will be weaned or sleep through the night, knowing that at some point all of that will happen when it happens. I could beat myself up for what I perceive as my shortcomings with the first two, but what helps me is to remind myself that motherhood is a series of transitions as much as the rest of your life. Your life as a young, brand new mother is a massive life transition and it takes a while to get the hang of it. I always tell my oldest that she is teaching me how to be a mom and she is breaking trail for the other two. She kind of likes that idea ....

Karly said...

love this post! great stuff!

Rhonda said...

Your posts I love the best are the ones that take two attempts to get thru them.

So much emotion.

You are the best mom!!


Kelly Hutcheson said...

I so hear ya on the to - do lists! I love the one of your kissing Peyton!! Love your beautiful family of 4 and a half!! xoxo

Becky at lifeoutoffocus said...

that last pic of you with peyton melts my heart. gorgeous.

Holly S. said...

Oh wow, this hit home with me! I always think "could I have done things better?" and sometimes I get sad looking back on videos and pictures too. My oldest is three! And I also have feelings, when he is at his two-morning-a-week-church-preschool, and he cries because he does not want to socialize or participate in anything there without me, and I wonder if it is normal. I feel like it probably is, he's only three! Like you reminded me, I need to relax and remember that. I know before I can blink, he will be running off playing with friends and I will want these days back. Thanks for the reminder :)

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