Obviously I scared you all away with my weirdo instagram stalker tendencies. Or maybe it was some of the things I’d say to my 17-year-old self. The blogging and writing publicly landscape sure was easier when my children didn’t constantly have a say in what I’m allowed to share. Not that I didn’t have rules for myself back in the dinosaur days of blogging — oh did I ever, it was called the 15% rule where I shared roughly 15% of my life, which meant I told you about sleep training, but I didn’t post photos of my children crying while being sleep trained — but the rules are so different now.
Every time I snap a photo I hear in the most musical upspeak and vocal fry (read: Not musical): YOU CAN’T POST THAT ON ANY KIND OF SOCIAL MEDIA.
Every time I take video of something amazing — for example, all three of my kids singing Hamilton at the top of their lungs whilst being on top of each other on our drive to Virginia for Pesach I hear: DELETE THAT IMMEDIATELY. Every time something hilarious happens they beg me not to post about it. Listen, it’s a crying shame that when my son eats raw salmon like he’s more bear than human, the world should see it. Because weeks later we are still laughing at it. And with so much grossness in the world, laughter feels all that much more important.
Sometimes I still post them…. and get to be the #smugmama.
This stage of parenting is such a weird one.
When the kids were young we were so tired — we were just so tired — because every time we sat down, there was a pint-sized reason (or three, actually) to get back up again. Mostly it was to get our kids drinks. (Seriously, why do kids need so many drinks?) But also it was because we filled our free moments with kid activity. We took them to the park, we took them to the zoo, we took them to birthday parties (so many birthday parties), we threw them birthday parties, we took them to indoor playgrounds, and roller skating rinks, and museums, and aquariums, and bowling alleys, and movies, and Canada’s Wonderland. Sundays and evenings were packed with activity.
Now we only do this on vacation. And we rarely go on vacation.
Because the days where we planned our family’s activities are over. Between schoolwork and extra-curriculars and actual paying jobs! and our children’s social lives and tutors (all things we find to be incredibly important), we are basically five ships passing in the night. Or during the day. Or on Shabbat. Or on Sunday.
It’s good. It truly is. I’m so happy that Josh leaves to go play basketball with neighbours and that Emily teaches swimming and that Isabella walks to Macs milk (which I think is now called Circle K which makes me not able to think of Bill and/or Ted) for Slurpees. They babysit, they have friend birthday brunches, they are snif leaders, they take boxing.
My kids are growing into really good humans.
Sure, they have their things. All good humans do, of course. Tempers and anxieties and little things that worry me and bigger things that WORRY! me. I’m their mama, after all. But even with all of these things, it’s so interesting to watch them grow up.
And it’s amazing to see that three children who grew up in the exact same place and who have the exact same parents are not even remotely a tiny bit alike except for their stubbornness and their chins — which they both inherited from me.
But they are beyond the stage of planned family activities.
And this makes me so sad. And not just because I’m a photographer and these are beautiful photo opportunities. But because it means that it’s only a matter of time when they won’t even be around at night. Or during the day. Or on Shabbat. Or on Sunday.
So I take pleasure in the little moments — the ones I feel like they will remember when I’m no longer driving them crazy in the morning making sure they have had enough to eat for breakfast and when I’m no longer driving them crazy at night begging them to get some sleep.
I take pleasure in the moments when Josh is more bear than human.
And moments like tonight, where my girls and I re-enacted the entire Matchmaker scene from Fiddler on the Roof, complete with laundry for kerchiefs. By the end we were doubled over in stitches, laughing until we were crying. Cry-laughing, if you will.