I had an assignment to write a movie review (Gloria, which I highly recommend) and as luck would have it, the film was playing at an art house close by my friend's. We met at her place first for a quick drink and snack. And to catch up.
Her oldest son is away at college. I remember meeting him at the hospital when he was less than two days old. I remember helping my friend make a tiny Superman (Superbaby?) costume for his first Halloween. I remember swimming with him at our club's kiddie pool. I remember his bar mitzvah. Most recently, I remember his high school graduation party.
How can he be in college? Weren't we just in college?
Her younger son, in junior high now, is suddenly taller than she is. He's changed from an adorable little boy to a handsome young man. She told me, proudly, that he's getting all A's.
Meanwhile, my girlfriend was having the same "OMG, how can we be so old?" moments with regard to my daughter. She's tucked neatly between the two boys in age, and on more than one occasion they were coerced into attending her princess and mermaid and magic fairy birthday parties. (Good sports, both.)
While we reminisced (and kvetched about the stress of raising tweens and teens and suddenly adults), we agreed that all we wanted was a "do over."
Don't get me wrong; we've both done pretty well. Our kids are fairly successful, healthy, decent young people. No one's flunked out of school or been incarcerated. They still talk to us. Most of the time. We seem to have somehow covered all the big stuff.
No, what we were wishing for was another shot at all the little moments that flew by while we weren't paying enough attention. All the time we wasted commuting to work or running errands. "It goes by so fast," older wiser mothers warned us. They were right.
For posterity, and while they're fresh in my mind (heaven knows I'll be moving on to something "really urgent" any second), here are some of the do overs I would do over if I could:
• Our bath and bedtime routine
• Walking with her snug in the Snugli
• Watching one of her (any of her) Elmo videos
• Playing with her Barbie and Kelly dolls
• Going to see her in a dance recital
All right, that last one was always fairly painful — three hours of other mother's girls, three minutes of mine. Still, I'd be there if I could. I'd grin and bear it if I could.
I'd do it over. If I could.
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