This is the happiest I will ever be—and I’m OK with that.

Shawn Blanc, fellow NaBlogWriMo participant, writing about a mess his kids left on the stairs:

One day, my boys will be grown and they will move out to live on their own. And my wife and I will finally live in a clean and quiet house. And we will miss the days, like this one, when toys were left on our steps and our boys were at home in the evenings to play and to laugh and fight about whose turn it is to brush their teeth first.

And so I try to remind myself in those moments of annoyance that the things which frustrate me now will one day be the things I will miss terribly and wish for again.

It’s hard to overstate just how tiring it is to be a parent of a young child. By 7 PM each night (my daughter’s bedtime), my wife and I are exhausted down to our bones—sometimes nearly to the point of tears.

So it is helpful to remind ourselves that we will very likely remember these few years as the happiest time in our lives. Our daughter still loves to dance with us, play with us, read stories with us, and snuggle. Those gifts ought not to be taken for granted.

And they won’t last forever. Adolescence will bring estrangement, and our daughter will eventually build an independent life. As time rolls on, we’ll hold our memories of her early childhood more and more dear.

So I’m determined to cherish those experiences now—even if I’m tired. ◾