“The days are long but the years are short” it’s been said. I can attest to that as I listen to the echos of “Mom, can you?’ and the faint memories that still linger.
As I sat in the waiting room where both my sons took music lessons for many years, the memories came rushing in.
I reflected on all the times I sat while they were in the rooms down the hallway, the songs they played and sang, the bands they were a part of.
And then I remembered the many times I heard these words: “Mom, can you?”
All three of my kids used those words over and over during the course of their growing-up years. I still hear those words, though on a less frequent basis these days.
When my kids were very young and learning new things, I would hear things like:
“Mommy, can you watch me run?”
“Mommy, can you put a movie in?”
“Mommy, can you play with me?”
I was busy, like all mothers are, but tried to make time to do the things they had asked.
As my kids grew older I continued to hear the words, but the requests were different.
“Mom, can you call Andrew’s mother to see if he can come over?”
“Mom, can you show me how to fix my lunch?”
“Mom, can you let us stay up a little later tonight?”
Time was a valuable commodity, and the years were slipping by.
Then the teen years hit and the phrase just kept changing, though it often seemed like I heard it more. The requests also seemed to require more of my time:
“Mom, can you take me to the mall?”
“Mom, can you drop me off at the movies?”
Mom, can you give me money for a pizza?”
As the years kept racing by the phrase continued to change. I noticed, but time was passing so quickly, I was just trying to keep up and hold on to what remained of those childhood days.
“Mom, can you lend me your car?”
“Mom, can you extend my curfew?”
“Mom, what’s the best route to take to avoid rush hour traffic?”
As I was driving down the road today, on the first day of school in our neck of the woods, I thought of my two nieces, one starting high school and the other middle school. My thoughts then turned to my brother and his wife, and the busy time of life they were entering because of their girls’ many activities, and I felt a bit of envy; a longing in my heart for those days gone by.
It’s a hectic time, no doubt about it. You sometimes feel like your life has all but disappeared. But to go back to those days of “Mom, can you?” just for a few short hours would be a gift which leaves me speechless.
My kids are all young adults now. I still hear that phrase from time to time:
“Mom, can you tell me how to get this stain out?”
“Mom, can you help me get a passport?”
“Mom, can you pick me up from the airport?”
Although it seems like just yesterday I was changing diapers, chasing toddlers, reading bedtime stories as I tucked them in for the night, and dropping them off at a friend’s house for a party, it was not.
I will remember those childhood days with a fondness so fierce it sometimes causes my heart to ache.
And those words will forever echo in my ears.
Mom, can you…