“3 Perfect Days”

From the beginning, my girls have always been polar opposites in every which way. Physically and emotionally. My oldest would go into her crib at night and play herself to sleep for hours without complaining. I remember being annoyed that we were never technically “off the clock” until we knew she was knocked out completely. Hours. But then came her sister years later who made me long for the easy days of monitor monitoring. She needed to be held and rocked and fed to sleep, when she felt like it, long into the night. Later on, wanting bubbas of milk throughout the night. Who grew in to having screaming night terrors running through the house until she ended up on our bedroom floor anyway. Who needed three hours of storytime and a stack of books to ever fall asleep on her own. Who now goes to bed without a problem at 8 years old but still sleeps with me. But? We all sleep. And, after a million years, bedtimes are fairly quiet within the house. Finally. For a bit.

On the other side of the coin, I can’t, by any stretch of my imagination, picture my little one ever inflicting the same the pain, headache, stress, worry and fights that her older sister did throughout those tough teen years. They are both pretty mellow these days, but I know realistically we are headed right back into the belly of the unknown days of puberty, middle school, mean girl drama and rebelliousness all over again. And soon. Just as it seemed to end with one. As with all things, time will tell.

…And the talking. Always, Always. As could be guessed, it’s often all but impossible for me to keep up. I miss a lot within retellings of school and the tiny details that mean everything. About everything. Not picking up intonation that needed my attention. Being 100% present in focus in order to gain 50% of the information and emotion from my girls. That alone has exhausted me since being a parent. But we have gotten through it. And our Normal will always be exactly that.

My oldest is now a woman of few words. Raising her own little sleep inhibitor and future firestarter. One day, not too far off, he will be running his mouth nonstop and burying his parents neck deep in Legos just like my youngest daughter is still doing to me on a daily basis. I figure this same kind hearted, little daddy’s girl will just about be packing away her Pokemon cards and distancing herself from me for Tweening right around the time, her nephew, E.J. is putting together his first endless rambles and operating from a bottomless source of energy. In turn, he will probably be steeped in hormones right as she is considering having her own babies. After her difficult years are hopefully behind her and she reattaches back to me as her older sister has. Now. Again. Finally.

The stages will continue to cycle on. Either leapfrogging one another, or in the perpetual motion of a circular relay race. I don’t know how much of it I’ll get to experience or see. But I was feeling grateful today that, for now, we seem to be living in this ideal 3 Perfect Days. Where everyone is sleeping. Everyone has manageable feelings. And everyone is together without distance. I can’t know how long it will last. As with every stage, time will tell. And we will get through it all. All over again.

Be well, Friends

34 thoughts on ““3 Perfect Days”

  1. Yay for your three days Sam! May it stretch longer than 3 – God willing! I love the time line you provided. It made me laugh. It’s similar but different with sons. But those Perfect Days are what I treasure. I cherish. I appreciate…and I understand. We just have to go with the flow…

    1. Absolutely! I’ve also found through the years that everything is relative. You struggle and lament over one phase then when it tapers and lessens, you still lament it not even realizing how much things have actually improved! I have to be careful with that mindset when it comes to perspective and our expectations on our kids! Baby steps are still steps!

      1. Well said Sam! And so true! 🙂 Just try to be in the moment and enjoy what you can! And know that it will change as well.

  2. I love this! 3 perfect days is so accurate! Talkity Talk talk cracked me up – reminds me of my daughter. She is like a coin you drop in a vending machine. You hear the coin click all the way down and come out the coin return. Then it goes back in at the top and continues it’s noisy clinky way down. What is she actually saying? I don’t know, but I know she is always making sound with words. Non stop, clinking her way down 🙂

    1. 😂😂😂 Right! It’s like…I have NO idea what you’re going on about, kid, but I can smile and nod with the best of them and wholeheartedly appreciate the *constant* exuberance!

  3. Those puberty days are exhausting.

    1. 😣 I knoooo. You don’t know what to attribute to hormones, insanity, illness, sadness, or if they’re just plain going to be mean forever, lol!

  4. The timeline is perfect! My girls are oil and water, or unstoppable force and immovable object. I’m trying to remember if we had the “3 perfect days”… if we did it was a long, long time ago.
    With younger living with her partner in their own place, there is less fighting here, so that’s nice. And I do get to see younger often since she’s always borrowing my car.
    Ben adds his own unique comedy and challenges into the “parenting” mix. Next month will mark 31 years of continuous parenting. How challenged and blessed am I ??!
    May your 3 days stretch into decades😘🥰💌

    1. I’ve had the same number of people tell me that one day my girls will be best friends as have told me they will probably hate each other forever 😂 I’ve recieved the same estimation of how they’ll feel about me, too!

      The term continuous parenting is so apt, I love that. When you have kids it’s impossible to imagine also parenting *their* kids….FOR..EV…VER!

  5. Change the gender to male and that’s my two boys. The older one, now 32, quiet as a church mouse. Single syllable one word txt responses to my questions. Sometimes just ‘K’. The younger, now 26, ? OMG – talkity, talky talk between meltdowns. Neither live at home now. It’s a mixed blessing. Enjoy the times, Sam. It’s what parenting is about. Because just when you least expect it they will do something to melt your heart all over again.

    1. Aw, I know. I would no sooner lose my shit about something with them than I’d feel so grateful for them that I’d break down, lol. They have provided so different of an experience in raising them due to their own differences, it’s definitely kept me on my toes 😣

  6. Oh my heart. I can’t imagine them pulling away from me but I know it’s closer than I’d like. This is so much. Enjoy your perfect, wonderful, magical time.

  7. Those puberty days are awful!

  8. I think raising kids through puberty is tough. I raised boys and I hear it’s easier than girls. My oldest son gave me a run for my money, though, as he was labeled by doctors oppositional defiant disorder. I would think every teen is that. Through years of struggle trying to get him through school and sort his angry feelings, I hung in, like you. I cherished the good days and plowed through the troubled days. I remembered how I had given my mom a hard time when I was that age, what goes around comes around and I guess I deserved it as an adult. Anyway We made it to the other side. My son graduated high school, moved on to community college and graduated, met a nice girl and married her and now owns his own house. He’s grown up and has come full circle. He realizes he took all his anger out on me, exactly what I did with my mom. I hope your peaceful days and sleeping nights continues. It sounds like your family is blessed to have you, a caring and amazing dad. Take care

    1. Thank you for sharing this! I always hear that girls are more difficult 😂 I have to admit though when we were having kids, I was always fearful that we’d have a son and the responsibility would fall to me to “here…make it a man”. As with anything, we would have figured it out and not know any different but I always felt more confident having girls…until those teen years hit! Years ago their mom told me I was going to have to let go of a LOT of pride if I let a slamming door offend my sensibilities as a parent 😂 And indeed there were many, many more slamming doors ahead. My theory is that if you keep the communication open and remain trustworthy in their eyes they will always come back around as maturity evolves. But…Im almost more scared to go through it again soon now that Ive seen it once!

  9. Buckle up, Sam. And polish that empathetic smile while keeping your hand over your mouth. Count to 20..or 100 before you speak; and forget you are a man during those complaining sessions. No, I don’t have any daughters. Four sons. I had a niece live with me for a year when she was 13. After she returned home I thanked God for the muddy clothes, the clothes ripping wrestling, occasional blood and general ability to entertain oneself that were my children. Their real emotional struggles came much later. Boys are like Invasion of the Body Snatchers from age 16 to 19. Somehow mine always snapped back after the first year out of high school. Ahhhh…parenthood. That glorious, painful, fulfilling, hair raising, mind boggling addictive role we take on, willingly or accidentally. It is for life though. 😊

    1. 😂😂😂 My oldest has taught me to be patient, kiss a LOT of rear and eat crow whenever necessary! I attribute at least a small measure of her stability now with me getting my own act and life together. The rest I gladly hand to the baby’s father for evening her out emotionally! I’m more worried about her younger sister when everything starts to hit later because she tends to clam up emotionally and keep things to herself rather than hailing down fire and brimstone to let everyone know. So…I’ll have to keep our connection that much closer so she doesn’t float off into the nether emotionally. Im laughing because my mom always said Invasion of the Body Snatchers about my brother and I at that time too 😂😂😂

      1. That’s too funny. My third son l ew he could talk to me but always kept things bottled up. Inevitably he would find a way to pick a fight with me, forcing me to get tough before he would break down and spill it all out.

        1. Ohhh yeah. I know that tactic well having walked through that fire with an uber intense tween/teen girl! 😭

  10. Those puberty years make us grow up again 😂

    1. Right! So much came to light and was so much more clear to me after watching them go through everything from an adult perspective!

  11. I was the wild child as a teenager and I prepped myself all along the way for the Parent’s Curse of “I hope you have children just like you someday”. While I got more than my share with my oldest, my younger two… I’m left scratching my head and wondering how I managed to pull it all off and get two very non-drama, level headed kids. I still get it some, mostly from my girl, but in the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t much. Granted, she is still only 15, so there is plenty of time for that to change. I think I will still be forever waiting for that fallout, no matter how old they get.

    1. But I was an L7 SQUAAARE! I had *no* idea what to do with a teenage girl with authority problems, getting kicked out of private school, and calling me by my first name 😂😂😂 Thank goodness she mellowed out after this savior of a future son-in-law came around a few years back. I believe he made her want to stop fighting the world, her mom and everyone else including me! I never dreamed she’d be as easygoing as she is now!

      1. I think the saving grace in our family is the fact that my Hubby is much like you and we balance each other out. Both in how we do things and the lovely genetics we’ve passed along to our kids.

        1. I always thank my kids for “swimming in this genetic cesspool with me” 😂

          1. It’s always nice to know you aren’t alone in your madness.

  12. I really appreciate how attentive you are to your kids! Parents are so brave.

    1. It’s feeling your way in the dark most of the time 😂😂😂

  13. 😭😭 I can’t. This just hit me SO hard in the feels.

    1. 😂 Fun, ain’t it!?? If I were to express all my circle of life realizations I would never stop crying!

  14. Oh how I get the talking! My daughter hasnt stopped talking and she is now an adult 😂

    1. Hi Lisa, so sorry, I haven’t been on for a few days 😣! They seem to have soooo much to say! My oldest is pretty quiet these days but can’t imagine my eight year old *ever, ever* not having a bazillion stories to tell, even when she’s grown!

  15. Your timeline is so accurate. I am convinced there is a reason God gave children to younger people. I miss those times sometimes. Then I am reminded b my 7 grandchildren what it was like. With 2 having graduated this year and the youngest entering middle school next year, we get to watch it all again. This time with a little distance. Time has given me much more grace than I could have imagined while raising our daughters. Yes, there were many times when the only thing I could do with teen – adult daughters, was hold the basket while their pieces all fell in, then help them put it all back together again once the melt downs were over. After all of those years, I can say that we are very good friends. These times you’re in will build some really strong ties later on. Your kids are blessed to have such an attentive father.

    1. It’s always reassuring to hear that the friendship comes back around as they become adults! I would have had my doubts for sure even three some years ago. I think the maturity of our kids *and* our very own lends a strong hand in that! I’m looking forward to enjoying what cycles I can witness….and maybe be able to keep my daughter calm if her son happens to throw a tape dispenser at her head one day…😂 Just sayin!!!

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