The Wonder Years ended last night and I cried.
Yes, yes, I know, it ended years ago.
But since Charming was born and I was entertaining my sleep-deprived self with television, I've watched the entire series. Two episodes a night, five nights a week. I've watched Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper grow up and fall in love.
And then, suddenly, last night, a Thursday, it ended.
And I cried.
I tried not to. I didn't want to cry. But I had to. And I don't think it had a whole lot to do with The Wonder Years.
I think it has to do with the fact that Charming is almost never awake anymore at 9pm. He goes to bed very shortly after his siblings. He sleeps until they get up in the morning. My life is good.
But my baby is growing up.
How is it, that he got so big? That enough time has passed that I could watch five years of TV since he was born?
I feel like I'm holding onto smoke. My kids are growing up and there is nothing I can do about it. And just like people told me, it goes so quickly. And this is the way it was meant to be.
Several years ago there was a family here who was washed away in a flash flood. All but the father died. A mom and five children gone in an instant. I remember it vividly because my sister and I drove the same highway with our (then) nine children just hours before. And it was surreal.
The father has since been on Focus on the Family and other programs telling his story. He is a believer and has an amazing testimony. One I hope to never have, quite frankly. I heard him speak in person. And in his telling, he reads an inscription that his wife wrote in a book that she gave him. It says a lot of things, but one that imprinted was "I love my life..."
When I heard him I was suffering terrible post-partum issues. I cried and cried. I cried all the way home from the event. But not because of what he lost (I cried over that in the immediate aftermath), I cried because of the guilt he made me feel. Or the guilt I chose to feel over what he said. He talked about living life to the fullest. And to really enjoy your children. Because it all goes so fast and you never know when it might end sooner than you think.
He wasn't trying to make us feel guilty, I'm sure. He was trying to encourage us. Which Hubs told me over and over. But I couldn't let it go for days. Weeks. Possibly years. Here I had these gorgeous (alive) children and I was so depressed and was such a horrible mommy and I couldn't say "I love my life." I hated it. I had to take pills to even get out of bed in the morning. And I'd had such trouble getting pregnant and I was certain that God knew what a horrible mom I'd be and that was why I couldn't get pregnant and that He went ahead and gave me three in less than three years to prove His point. (Because God is sadistic in the way that I am....(yes, that was sarcasm.))
And I realized in just the last few days how much I LOVE MY LIFE! I have come so far since then. One, I'm getting sleep and until recently I had everyone potty trained and I could go to the store and keep everyone happy and not raise my voice. And, as many people told me, I was probably just exhausted. Exhaustion and depression go hand in hand.
Anyway, I guess that's all that I need to say. But if you are where I was....hang in there, it WILL get better. Hopefully, very soon, you too will be able to say, "I love my life!"