The other day I was cleaning out old stuff. I opened a couple of big plastic bags that were full of the stuffed animals that my children use to play with. I reached in and pulled out “Ducky.” Ducky (as he was named) was yellow, pudgy, and very cute (see the picture). I immediately broke into tears, which turned into sobs. I cried for about 10 minutes holding this yellow stuffed duck.
Why this sudden burst of emotion upon seeing a stuffed duck? It’s because Ducky brought hours and hours of entertainment and joy to my kids. Every night when they were going to bed, my husband Mike would go into their bedroom and tell Ducky it was time for his exercises. Mike would proceed to help Ducky touch his toes, do sit ups, and other calisthenics. I would smile as I would hear the children laughing and squealing with delight as Mike went on and on with the nightly routine with Ducky.
I went and showed the yellow stuffed duck to my children who are now 20 and 21. It immediately brought smiles and laughter to their faces as they exclaimed, “Ducky!”
I even took a picture of it and sent it to my son in college. He wrote back, “Aww, he’s so cute. Dad needs to take him to exercise.” This silly little duck flooded my kids with fond memories. I could see it on their faces as soon as I showed it to them.
The reason for my earlier flow of tears is that now those days are gone. It went so fast. My children are grown and most of them are gone. The last two will be leaving home soon. I wanted to just proclaim on the rooftops to all moms and dads of young children to enjoy your children. Enjoy every minute you can with them. I know it is hard, demanding, and exhausting. It is for sure. But now being on the other side, it is true that it flies by. Suddenly – poof – they are gone and those years cannot be relived.
Have fun with your kids. Laugh and sing and play and dance. Be silly, and make beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. You will not regret it.
Mary Ann / Mother Hen