Good Books

We’ve been going through old pictures and came across this picture of Miguel taken when he was two. I remember those overalls so well, remember the feel of his fat little feet as I strapped them into those sandals. Just looking at the picture, I can almost feel the stickiness of his skin from the heat of summer, popsicles and playing in the grass.

Life was simpler then. One kid, two parents – those are some good odds.

Our struggles were simpler then. The biggest challenge was his tendency to dart away from us in crowds and crossing the street. We were always able to catch him and carry him back.

I was tempted to write that he was simpler then but I know that’s not true. We just hadn’t yet seen all of who he was becoming.

We still haven’t seen all of who he is and that is part of the gift of having kids. You get to watch a person become themselves.

Of course, there are days when I don’t think it’s a gift at all. I want to know how the kids turn out. I want to fly ahead to the future and assess the outcome. Are they loved? Are they kind? Are they happy? Do they play too many video games because their mother was a lousy example with all her blogging and social media shenanigans? At least, I know they won’t be eating Twinkies.

I look at that chubby little boy in the picture and I miss him a little bit. I also miss the mother I was then – a little less tired, a little more present, a little less worried.

But then, I look at the boy I have now and think he’s pretty great too. He is insightful and smart and gets sarcasm and makes me laugh every day. He also takes a shower by himself which is a gift too.

When I spend enough time with my kids, as I did this past week, I realize that I don’t need to know the end of the story before it happens. I just need to enjoy it and remember that I’m not telling it alone.

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14 Responses to Good Books
  1. lyz
    November 26, 2012 | 4:36 pm

    Just. Beautiful.

  2. Esther Wifler
    November 26, 2012 | 4:49 pm

    I miss the fat feet so much. But I love the humor and blips of profound insight. xoxo Miguel.

    • Vikki
      November 26, 2012 | 9:07 pm

      Oh those feet…

  3. Kerstin
    November 26, 2012 | 4:51 pm

    I like your category “musings of the zen master” – this post really seems like that 😉

    I wonder and worry about my kids all the time. I’m always so afraid that something is going to happen to them, that I can’t protect them…
    I want them to grow up happy and healthy and live their lives fully.

    I guess every one of their stages reveals something new about their personality and even if it’s sometimes enough to drive me insane I have to remember that they choose to be who they are and I just get to watch. Might as well enjoy then :)

    • Vikki
      November 26, 2012 | 9:08 pm

      I worry about something happening to them but I also worry about my mistakes in parenting (because we all make them). I’m trying to trust a little more these days.

  4. Jessica
    November 26, 2012 | 7:03 pm

    This is so beautiful, I actually wrote today about my son being the age now that your son was in that first picture and how much I want to hang onto this age because before I know it he will be a much bigger kid smiling back at me in a photo. I always worried that I would miss each age as it past and in some ways I do hate that they grow up so quickly but I have truly liked the people they are becoming more and more as they grow.

    • Vikki
      November 26, 2012 | 9:08 pm

      I do like the people my kids are becoming. Still, I look at those little baby faces and miss that too.

  5. Galit Breen
    November 26, 2012 | 10:46 pm

    Ohmyheart, this.

    I want to know the answers to those questions, too. All of them.

    But you’re right, we don’t *have* to know.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family!


  6. Monica
    November 26, 2012 | 11:12 pm

    This IS beautiful. But, wait: why are you more tired now? Isn’t it supposed to get easier after they stop waking up three times a night to feed, or pee in the potty, or have night terrors? (My babes are all still under 4; you scared me a little…)

    • Vikki
      November 27, 2012 | 4:00 pm

      Yes, I’m more tired but that’s probably just me. Don’t worry. Ignore everything I said.

  7. Shannon
    November 27, 2012 | 7:14 am

    Another beautiful post, Vikki. And the overalls are adorable.
    Sometimes, I, too, wish that I could flip to the end of the book to see how it all turns out. But, in truth, that would probably turn me into a crazy person, the knowing. I’m definitely better off not knowing and just enjoying.

  8. tracy@sellabitmum
    November 27, 2012 | 8:29 am

    I think it really does just keep getting better. xo

  9. Lady Jennie
    November 27, 2012 | 11:38 am

    I worry a lot too that I spend too much time in front of the computer and how it’s going to affect my kids.

  10. Alexandra
    November 28, 2012 | 9:16 am

    I can’t look at my kids pictures of when they were little.

    It’s torture.

    Why do it to yourself, Vikki?

    (a seriously lovely, lovely, lovely post. LOVELY.)

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