As I write this article, I am suffering from severe depression. We just returned from a blissful week of vacation and the thought of returning to normal life with schedules, work, errands, kids and the stress that goes along with them makes me want to crawl into a hole until next summer. It’s just GROSS, to use a favorite word of my son.
But, life moves on and we have a choice, either shape up or ship out (to use a favorite term of my father). Somehow, I have inherited some gene that makes everything just a bit more dramatic for me than for most people. I cried when we left for vacation because I was sad that Nicholas was going to be away from his daddy for a week. I cried during the vacation because I never wanted it to end. I cried coming home from our vacation because I want to live in Colorado forever, open a Blockbuster store in Salida and live happily ever after with all my family in the mountains. Yes, the word malcontent seems to come to mind…
Since I have been a child, I have always had difficulty with changes, separation and just living in the moment. I kept thinking as an adult, my grown- up gene would “kick in” and I would not always be so ridiculous. I can remember starting crying spells six months before high school graduation because I was going to miss everyone so much. I spent so much time crying I missed out on actually enjoying my friends! And 20 years later – I’m still doing the same darn thing (with my father still rolling his eyes at me).
I still consider myself a new mother – my youngest is only three after all (What are the statute of limitations on that phrase?). But I better get this living in the moment thing down soon or next thing I know – we will all be crying at their high school graduation and I will have missed all the moments that make being a mom so special.
I’m still looking for that magic ingredient that will help me make the most out of the time I have with my children. And I envy the people that seem to do it effortlessly (My husband as a perfect example – where can I get that gene?).
However, I have made some baby steps – I turned off my phone (Scary, but what liberation!) and any other device where someone could distract me or track me down for the entire week we were on vacation. I got up early with my kids instead of sleeping in. We didn’t watch TV. We played endless games of catch, fished every day and spent hours throwing rocks in the water (occasionally missing and hitting a car or two). We made brownies and played in the hot tub until we were positively lightheaded and pruny.
I will never forget that special week and the memories I created with my family. I’m sure I will still always cry at every occasion, no matter what, but I will continue my quest to find the pleasure of enjoying the simple moments.
After I make my to-do list of course.
Marnie Fernandez is an official kid wrangler of four and a professional laundress. When not chasing kids, she runs a public relations company, SixPR. She is also a blogger and writer documenting her misadventures in mommyhood in a blended family of six on the plains of Oklahoma.