I got my hair done last Sunday by my friend Alis, and we chatted about all kinds of interesting things, like “gifts from the universe,” while she did my roots and touched up my highlights.
You know how the universe sometimes floats these beautiful and unexpected gifts your way? — whether they be deeply discounted couches from Pottery Barn or random advice from strangers? Well, I recently got a gem of parenting advice from the guy who delivered our new washer last week.
I wish I knew his name… I don’t think he introduced himself.
Anyway, let’s call him Elvis, because he kind of looked like an Elvis.
Elvis was super nice, and I knew he’d be cool when Connor called out a sing-songy “Hiiiii!” when he first walked through the door, because Elvis said, “Hiiiiiii!” right back. And then he continued to answer “hi” every time Connor said it, which must’ve happened about 20 more times during the half hour Elvis was here.
While Elvis was setting up the washer, we made small talk. He asked how many kids I have, and I answered, “Two, if you count my cat.” 🙂 HAHA! You know Tabs totally counts. He’ll be Connor’s kuya, which is the word for “older brother” in Tagalog, always and forever.
I asked Elvis how many kids he has, and he said eight. EIGHT! (My response: “DUDE! You’ve been busy!”). His youngest kids are nine-year-old twins, and his oldest is 25.
I like to ask people with kids, “What’s the secret?” But before I could ask Elvis, he said, “Can I offer some advice?”
I enthusiastically nodded.
“You wanna know what the most important thing I’ve learned after raising eight kids is?”
Um, of course I said yes. How could I not?
His answer: to appreciate the things that your kids can’t do yet. Like, when your daughter is a toddler and can’t talk (much) yet, save all the nonsense babbling, which is cute but frustrating at the same time because you can’t tell what she wants or needs, and you kind of wish that she could talk because it would make everything easier, but being able to fully converse is also a double-edged sword, because it also leads to kids talking back.
Elvis said that you have to try your hardest to cherish those “can’t” phases, because they’re temporary, and you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past few days. I wish I could hit the rewind button and relive so many Connor phases, like before she could turn over or crawl or walk… I realized then that kids grew up quickly, because people talk about it all the time, but I never realized just how quickly. It’s bittersweet.
Like, I remember sitting on the couch in tears while trying to breastfeed when she was two months old. My nipples felt like someone had taken a cheese grater to them, and I hadn’t slept in days. I remember thinking, “I can’t wait for the day when she can feed herself because I’m sick of being her human cow!”
To be honest, I don’t miss breastfeeding at all (but that’s another story for another time), but I wish I could relive some of those “can’t” phases when she was so tiny and small and couldn’t wriggle out of my arms like she does now. Now that she’s always moving, moving, moving, I’m lucky if I get to hug her for a minute.
It’s another way of saying that you gotta cherish the present. Recognize when times are good, and appreciate what’s happening now.
Thanks, washer deliver guy! — a.k.a. Elvis with the eight kids. 🙂
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,