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Tiaras and Trucks

Monday, October 10, 2011

Listen Up, Future Self!

Dear 99 Year Old Angela,

By this time, you know what happens in our life more than I do.  You know our disappointments, which of our dreams have come to fruition, and how some of those dreams have been reshaped into wonders I cannot yet imagine.

You may not have kept this Saturday in your special box of memorable days.  Days at the zoo can blend together, pushing the increasingly heavy double stroller over the cement paths, opening Goldfish, peering at monkeys for just a few minutes longer than an adult finds necessary.

But this Saturday was different.

You dragged your heels about going, a fuzzy-headed cold and a few nights of interrupted sleep compounded a nagging feeling of restlessness, of not being appreciated outside of your role as a mother.

You went through routine motions: automatically packing snacks and filling water bottles, applying sunscreen and remembering the stroller brake outside of the butterfly house.

Resentment bubbled under the surface of your smile.

Then something shifted.

It began on the carousel, a new fixture at our zoo, the animals still shiny and smooth, unblemished by errant wads of gum and the residue from sticky, chubbily childish hands.

Abbey’s infectious giggles coaxed out a real smile as she primped and posed, “Take my picture, Mommy!” reminding you that you hadn’t used the camera as much lately.

By the time we reached the prairie dogs, an underappreciated animal, cute and spry, the bubbling resentment had dissipated.  Abbey patiently helped Dylan into the children’s viewing area, holding his hand instead of pushing him away, quietly encouraging him and relinquishing her turn, with a smile, in a reasonable amount of time.

Of course, we had to remind Abbey fifty-nine times that she needs to tell us before jumping out of the stroller.

Dylan fell asleep as we ambled to the car, slept during the ride home, and refused to nap the rest of the day.

You forgot to refill your enormous zoo member diet pepsi cup before leaving.

Yet the day ended without the discontentment and resentment with which it began.

So today, I want you to remember that Saturday in October, warm and lovely, leaves just beginning to glow red and orange in the sun.

Remember how a small hand sliding into yours can ease worry about what will tomorrow or the next day or the one after that.

Remember to be present.

With love,
Angela, October 2011
P.S. You don't look a day over 93.  I promise.

This week’s prompt: Write a letter to your future self or your child.

Every MONDAY join us…
Write, post, link-up, share your story and your voice.
Be part of carrying the weight of confidence, empowerment and share our mission
to empower, inspire, and remind women, parents and children

that the time has come to celebrate ourselves!

Next week’s prompt: What fuels you?

(Remember you can also write on a topic of your choice.)

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48 Comments:

  • At October 10, 2011 at 7:46 AM , Anonymous Mama Wants This said...

    Haha, I love this!! It really does put things in perspective when you look ahead, doesn't it?

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 9:39 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    how MUCH MORE AMAZING could you be , seriously???? I loved this , how looking back at just one day can make all the difference, the perspective and the wisdom comes shining through. There will always be days we might want to forget, but they won't be able to match the days we never want to let go of and relive over and over again...Life is the small moments and the small stuff that leads us to the BIG STUFF.

    Ang, this was glorious! xoxo

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 10:57 AM , Anonymous Taming Insanity said...

    So perfect. I need to read this a lot today.

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 12:59 PM , Anonymous Liz said...

    It SO is an under-appreciated animal! Poor lil prairie dogs!

    I love your P.S. I'm such a sucker for a light-hearted twist.

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 1:26 PM , Anonymous Elaine A. said...

    That last line made me giggle!

    I had a moment the other day where I just stopped short, not believe how long my oldest's legs were and how my second child was using words I didn't even know he knew and K is speaking in complete sentences.  I wanted to scream "It's all going too fast!!!"  Because it SO is.  

    I hope your younger self listens. I'm going to try to as well.  But it's hard some days. 

    xoxo

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 1:46 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    It IS hard some days to remember that the moments are fleeting.  We're having a rough day today, but we spent some time in the kitchen making a mess, I mean baking, and now everyone is at least smiling for a few minutes!

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 1:48 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    The prairie dogs are kind of amazing.  They dig some pretty big holes with their little tiny hands!

    I think by the time I am 99, should I be so lucky, I'd want everyone to know :)

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 1:48 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Me too :)  Everyone here has a cold, hence everyone here is pretty cranky ;)

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 1:49 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I'm so glad you liked it! xoxo  Some days I get wrapped up in the "big picture" and don't look at the little moments that make it all worth it.  Of course, other days I get wrapped up in the little moments and don't clean my house.  I guess it's all about the balance :)

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 1:50 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes :)  And I need some perspective with a house full of colds.  (sniff sniff)

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 1:55 PM , Anonymous Chunky Mama said...

    Aw, you made me all teary.
    Love this.

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 2:05 PM , Anonymous jessica said...

    I. Love. This. For a million reasons, I love this.

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 2:14 PM , Anonymous Jdaniel4smom said...

    What a wonderful reminder of what is important!

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 2:29 PM , Anonymous Nicole Morgan said...

    A dose of perspective on this iffy Monday ... so well put together ....
    Thank you xxx

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 3:19 PM , Anonymous Elena said...

    I try really hard to remember to be present...especially when I have moments like this. It can be tough though and you forget in all the chaos. I'm excited to visit & see the new merry go round - we haven't seen it yet. Oh, and your p.s. to yourself about not looking over 93 is too cute. ;)

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 3:37 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I don't know how tall the boys are, but be careful if you're by yourself.  The kids have to be 42" to ride "alone," and they are STRICT about the one adult per child rule.  I tried to take them by myself one time, and they wouldn't let me.  Major meltdowns ensued ;)

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 3:38 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks for reading :)  My Monday has been rather iffy as well...

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 3:38 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you!  If only I could bottle that feeling of perspective and take a sip when I'm reaching the end of my rope!

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 3:39 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you :)  I need to breathe and remember it more.  Both of my little angels have been drinking some sort of crazy potion lately.

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 3:39 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Passing kleenex...thank you!

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 5:10 PM , Anonymous Lady Jennie said...

    This is beautiful.  And you can include Jennie in that heading.  (as long as you tell me I don't look a day over 93 either).

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 6:04 PM , Anonymous bridgetstraub.com said...

    Good to know you are going to hold up so well. I'm glad your Saturday improved as it went along.

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 7:42 PM , Anonymous Krishann said...

    Ha!  I love that the 99 year old version of you won't look a day over 93.  This was such a beautiful reminder of what really matters.  Your day could have ended the way it began but  it didn't.  Instead you created memories with your children, memories that you and they will have a lifetime.  It's amazing how much joy we can find in the laughter and smiles of our little ones. 

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 8:24 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    :)  I'm glad I let it get better (the day.)  It didn't start so well :)

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 8:24 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I'm glad, too :) 

    I think I'll attribute Oil of Olay ;)

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 8:25 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    You?  Beautiful lady, at 99, I'm sure you won't look a day over 87 ;)

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 9:13 PM , Anonymous Jodifur said...

    Sometimes it is so hard to remember to be present.  This is such a good reminder.

     
  • At October 10, 2011 at 10:57 PM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    I love days that end well, even when the beginning is rough. Great letter...love the P.S. part of it ;)

     
  • At October 11, 2011 at 12:01 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh, me, too.  And they basically all end well, with hugs and kisses :) 

     
  • At October 11, 2011 at 12:02 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    We all need the reminder at times.  I already needed it again today :)

     
  • At October 11, 2011 at 12:17 AM , Anonymous Nichole said...

    This, "Remember to be present" is my mantra, though some days are easier than others.
    Such a lovely piece, Angela.

     
  • At October 11, 2011 at 2:10 AM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

    It's always hard to remember to be present, but I'm trying. I know I won't have these days with my kids when they're little forever and I want to enjoy every second.

    I loved this post!

     
  • At October 11, 2011 at 2:18 AM , Anonymous Jessica said...

    A great message that I need to do better at remembering. 

     
  • At October 11, 2011 at 6:22 AM , Anonymous LatteJunkie said...

    Great! It's the little things that make it... Today I was getting all twisted with resentment and frustration and my little one walked up and gave me a kiss - saying "I kiss you for life"... I have yet to work out what he means but it always makes me smile.

    And I am pretty sure you don't look a day after 89!

     
  • At October 11, 2011 at 4:32 PM , Anonymous KindredAdventures said...

    It hard being a mom, wife and any other job, hobby or activity we try to squeeze in.  You love your children so much.  It is apparent in a lot of the pieces I have read of your lately.  They mean so much to you, remind you of so many of the little things and bring you such meaning.  Family has the ability to do so many wonderful things for us and it fills us with all the right things (most of the time).  It is a challenge to be present when other things weigh on us.  Hard to appreciate the time and moments we have.  We are all learning, aren't we.  So wonderful that you could recognize this moment for what it was and then remind us all.... Be Present!  -Laverne

     
  • At October 11, 2011 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Missy | The Literal Mom said...

    Love it!  I'm linking up my letter tonight.  They've all been so good this week.  I especially like this one.  

     
  • At October 12, 2011 at 2:54 PM , Anonymous Just Jennifer said...

    I loved this idea when I saw it and had to write something too. I like your letter very much. And good for you for giving yourself a compliment at the end!

     
  • At October 12, 2011 at 9:31 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I'm trying to do more to really be present with them.  I have been realizing how quickly they are passing through the baby stage, and I am going to miss the littleness a lot when it's finished. 

     
  • At October 12, 2011 at 9:31 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Giggle :)

    I love "I kiss you for life."  I don't know exactly what it means, either, but it sounds like a good thing to me.

     
  • At October 12, 2011 at 9:37 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Me, too, Jess.  I am trying to remember more frequently.  Overall, everyone is more happy here when I am tuned in.

     
  • At October 12, 2011 at 9:38 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Kim :)  I feel the same way; they're only going to be little for a short time.  We are already talking about sending D to preschool next year.  I know it's a year away, but even that seems so close.

     
  • At October 12, 2011 at 9:39 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Nichole!  I am working on it, every day.  It's the reason I'm not "working" (though that's a funny way to say it some days!) and I need to honor that.  I don't want to blink and realize I've lost a year.

     
  • At October 12, 2011 at 10:06 PM , Anonymous @katefineske said...

    Ok... just had to say this... you would LOVE the T. Zoo :)

    In other news... this post was fabulous. It's days like these that we forget to remember... I'm so glad at 99 that you will be able to come back to this day and remember it in it's entirety. (And I am CERTAIN you will not look a day over 93!)

     
  • At October 13, 2011 at 6:50 AM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    "Remember to be present" I so love that.

    And the 93 line? Genius!

     
  • At October 15, 2011 at 4:50 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Probably by 99 I won't care.  Or I will be a cougar, chasing the 87 year old dudes, with Ryan snoozing in the corner ;)

     
  • At October 15, 2011 at 4:51 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Ryan and I took the kids once, and we did like it :)  And we rode the carousel.  We HAD to see the baby elephant before he got too big.

     
  • At October 15, 2011 at 4:51 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks!  I think it's a good reminder (to myself!)

     
  • At October 15, 2011 at 4:51 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Missy!

     

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