Last week I walked made my way up the stairs after a very long day. Mid-way up, I heard a couple brothers giggle-scramble to the shower, like I wouldn’t figure out that they had been goofing around rather than tending to their business. But as I ascended the last step, my ears were greeted by a different sound, the sweetest of sounds.
And I posted on FB. “I know few things that warm my heart like coming upstairs to hear the muffled sound of a 14 yo girl strumming Somewhere Over the Rainbow on her pink ukulele. Do you think she would mind me opening her door and joining in with singing? … Yeah, probably not a good idea.”
I thoroughly enjoy entering the picture with a rousing song, especially some impromptu harmony. My kids find me annoying. I like to think I’m making memories for them.
My friend Natalie commented on the FB share, “Isn’t that the best? My Lexie does that too. After a trip to Hawaii with my parents, she and my mom were in her room singing and laughing while she strummed Hawaiian tunes. Brought tears to my eyes. I snuck around to record them with my phone. I may play that at her rehearsal dinner one day!!!” Apparently, she’s a big sap, too. But sneak filming… brilliant. I’m so doing that.
Not just for rehearsal dinner fodder – I want it so I can remember. Because ukulele girl is going to be gone before I look up.
I began to think of all the things I don’t want to forget. Things I wish I had filmed, like…
- Lemonade stands on hot, Texas summer days. Lazy days where only one or two cars even drove down our street. The kids would jump up and down, whooping and hollering for any car to stop and try their home-made fare. (I usually insisted on the real deal. That’s when I subscribed to Martha Stewart. I don’t do that anymore.) I could never understand how a vehicle could drive past that cute crew. But they did. And after momentary rejection, the kids would pep each other up and try again. … I loved watching them from my front porch rocker. I already miss that.
- Sleepy “won’t-you-just-get-in-bed-with-me-for-five-minutes” pleas from a little kid who just needs to end his day with some extra, super-close mom time.
- Annoying used water-balloons scattered all over our back yard. Next to a gazillion air-soft pellets. Colorful confetti of good, clean fun.
- The boom box blasting tunes for a trampoline crew. Watching them jump, then collapse, then lay for hours as they try to solve all the world’s problems. Problems like how a couple teens in Dallas could travel to London to meet their future husbands …of the One Direction flavor.
- Looking back in the rearview mirror to see a full car. I like seeing those kids that so often drive me crazy in my endless carpooling. Yes, I could live without the whining and arguments; but I never want to forget the laughter, silly jokes, hilarious selfies, friend ride alongs, and sibling camaraderie. I hope they will always be friends.
- Sneaking a peek at them wrestling with their dad. Listening to them plot and scheme ways to pin him down. Then hearing the surprised screams as he breaks through, showering them with horse-bites and tickles.
- Riding bikes. Showing them the way to Snider Plaza. Barking orders from behind to watch the drive-ways and stop signs. Then years later catching the same sight. Only this time an older sibling guides the younger… and a cousin or two. Love that.
- Going to the Donut Palace.
- Listening to thunder. Not the kind that comes with storms. But the kind that accompanies squeals and a wild game of sardines booming overhead as feet race across upstairs floors.
- Mail. Multiple renditions of basic scribbles and practice numbers colored on copy paper then lovingly placed in unsuspecting neighbors’ slots.
- Sweet neighbors.
- Piano practice.
- Mexican Train Dominoes
- Adorable dresses with Mary Jane shoes and bobby socks. Costco short sets. That I picked for them. Because they didn’t care.
- Standing outside a dressing room while one tries on her picks because now she cares. And even though a curtain might separate us, she deep down still wants and needs my encouragement.
I want to remember it all.
I want it close.
Because, in the moment, especially those moments involving all-nighters and cleaning up after sick children, it seems slow motion. But in reality it’s over before we’ve realized it has even started.
Here’s to filming it all. If not for rehearsal dinners, at the very least for me.
Thanks for walking the road with me.