I have a 17 year-old daughter and 15 year-old twin boys. I call them Girly and Thing 1 and Thing 2. I took Thing 1 and Thing 2 out to lunch the other day and to run errands. We were in a popular fast food restaurant and it was crowded. Many tables around us had babies and toddlers eating with their moms and dads, some crying, some squealing – it was a bustle of noise and activity.
I love kids. I always have. My three are my favorite people to hang out with. I looked at my two. They are twins and turn 15 this month. They are both taller than me now and look much older than their age. The checkout lady in Target recently asked me if they were starting college soon. (They loved that.) I smiled and told her they were about to start high school.
As we munched our lunch, I took in my surroundings and thought two things. 1) I am SO glad I’m past the toddler age and 2) Moms are simply quite awesome. (And dads, although I’m addressing moms here.)
Memories washed over me in waves. I remembered taking the kids out for lunch simply to get out of the house. And yet, that one outing could easily exhaust me. Getting them dressed and into the car. Making sure the diaper bag was packed. Physically getting them from the car to the building. Getting them set up at a table while I ordered. Feeding them all. Trying to feed myself. I’m tired just typing this.
But I smiled at these families around me. The memories are sweet. Cherub faces with juice tinted lips. Wispy curls that just don’t seem to want to stay in a cute hair clip. Chubby hands that reach out for a hug. My mama heart melts just thinking about it.
I looked back at my man children as they devoured their two burgers each with fries and a drink. (Every word ever spoken about how much teen boys eat is true. Every word.) My heart flooded with gratitude. I have loved every moment I’ve spent with them and their sister over the last seventeen years. Even the tough ones. I have no regrets. And I’m soaking in the teen years now. (Which are awesome. True story.)
But my shout out today is
I promise you.