Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You're Gonna Miss This

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days
hadn't gone by so fast

These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this

I have heard this song by Trace Adkins so many times over the last two weeks, that I felt compelled to write about the images and emotions it evokes every time I hear it.

As I thought about what I wanted to write, I took a fresh look at the reasons that I started blogging to begin with.  At first, it was just a new pet project. Can I blog every single day? Will I stick with it for longer that a few weeks? Well, I did blog every single day for the first few months, but then slowed down as time went on. My reasons for blogging changed too, as I realized that this would be something my kids could read in years to come. I wanted them to understand who I am and how much I love them and their Daddy. I wanted to give them a glimpse inside my marriage, my job and my head.

I can think of no greater treasure than to uncover the writings of my own mother or father. How cool to know what they were thinking when they were 36, and how they viewed their own marriage and life at that particular time!

I also didn't want to forget the day to day happenings that slip so easily through the cracks in my mind. I read some of my posts from 9 months ago, and was blown away by the fact that I had already forgotten many of the things that I wrote. Simple, sweet things that the kids said or did. Thoughts and feelings about a particular time in my life.

Before I was married, I was happily employed with a great little one-bedroom apartment. I was self-sufficient, and made enough money to be comfortable. When I married Trevor, I left it all behind to move to Virginia because the Navy is funny that way. Something about AWOL and a court martial if Trevor stayed in Houston.

We drove from Texas to Virginia after the wedding, and upon arrival our first living space as a married couple was a rent by the week motel room. Notice I didn't say hotel. It was a place called the London Boulevard Motel, and it was awful. The walls were bright pink, the mini kitchen was crusted with years of grease and food, and you can imagine the smell. The first morning that Trevor left me to go to the base, I just looked around and cried. What had I done? I was so far away from home, my comfortable (and clean) apartment was just a memory and I was sitting in a motel room probably used most recently by the hour.

My dreamy ideals of how married couples started out were crumbling before my eyes.  Visions of unpacking all our wedding gifts and belongings into a perfectly sized apartment with all the amenities went up in smoke and drifted away.  Luckily, we moved within a week or two into an old house that had been divided into 4 apartments. Still not anywhere close to my apartment, but light years beyond the motel!  It didn't have air conditioning, we couldn't afford a phone, our downstairs neighbors were loud alcoholics, and we lived across the street from a crack house, but it was ours.

When I was in the middle of all that craziness, all I wanted was to go home. I wanted my life back and I wanted to get out of Portsmouth, Virginia. I loved Trevor and being married, but this way of living was not something I was accustomed to or liked. But when I look back at that first 4 months of our marriage, it is with longing and nostalgia. I don't really think about the motel or the crack house. When I think of that time, I remember hot summer days spent down by the Elizabeth River getting the truck muddy and (sometimes) stuck. I remember Trevor working half days for the most part (he was being discharged), and coming home at noon nearly every day so that we could play. If someone had told me then that I was going to miss it, I would have laughed.

But I do. I miss that time and also when we moved to Carlsbad, NM and spent a year completely on our own. No family and no friends nearby. We had to go north to Roswell or east to Lubbuck, Texas to see a movie, or eat somewhere nicer than Golden Corral. Our first real house had hard wood floors and ceilings, and my dreams of unpacking those gifts and belongings finally came true.  I was so proud of our little rental place and I was able to work part time and still be home in time to have dinner ready for Trevor at night.

We leaned on each other and grew more in that year than in any other of our marriage so far. It was hard, but I would recommend it for all newly married couples. Get away from parents and siblings and learn how to be married. Drink each other in through the fighting, the tears and the joy. Enjoy every moment together before the babies start to come, because although that part of my life is beyond compare, the time before is precious too.

If someone had told me then that I was going to miss it, I would have laughed.  I missed my family, my friends and my job. I missed home and how lushly green it is compared to the desert. I never would have thought that I would want that back, but I do sometimes.

So why do I rush through these days? If history repeats itself (and it always does), I'm going to miss this. I'm going to miss the small bodies squirming in between Trevor and I when we try to hug. I'm going to miss the sound of baby laughter and of little feet slapping on the pavement. I'm going to miss them asking for one more story, one more kiss, just one more please??!! The mounds of laundry and the stacks of dishes will be forgotten, but the good stuff will be remembered. I will remember, and I'm gonna miss it.


Mocha with Linda said...

Oh that is so, so true. When we're in the trenches we only see the hard stuff, but looking back the sweet memories rise to the top. Cherish each day!!

Alana said...

Amen, sister! I know it is true.

Loved reading this story.

Our first apt. was in married student apartments at our college. The carpet was 70's green, there was one drawer in the whole kitchen, and I could vacuum the whole place without unplugging. Good times ;-)

Linda said...

1st time here, beautiful post. You will love re-reading this when you've been married 25 and 50 years.

Karen said...

This is just beautiful and so true. It just got me all teary. I wish I had kept a better journal in those first couple years of marriage because there was so much growing going on for both of us. And the time with the kids goes so fast. I think of my oldest who just left for college and I picture him as a little boy. I have been missing him so much this past week -- missing the young man, but especially that little boy!

You really touched my heart today.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Preach the word, Xandra.

There's another country song (or is it that one?) that says, "These are the best years of your life." I tend to think that's true.

Thanks for the reminder to TREASURE it. Like Mary, we should ponder these things and store them like gold in our hearts.

Rhonda said...

Beautifully written! Such true words. Our lives do progress quickly, but our memories stay with us. It's amazing how resiliant we really are.

I have loved the different stages of my children. Many times I have said, "now this is the age I love", and then said it again at the next.

Enjoy them - they really do grow quickly, like everyone says.

Greatfullivin said...

What an awesome post! First I am so impressed with your reasons to blog and then your subject matter today is just so true. We do miss those days. Children grow up so fast.(so do grandchildren) One day you will have sweet quiet time alone with Trevor again. You will cherish it, but long for the children again. Funny thing, how we are made!

luvmy4sons said...

Amen! Oh, yes. The grass is always greener. It is so hard not to "wish" your life away to another time, to another circumstance. To live totally in the moment and appreciate it, to stop now and then and sear memories in your mind. I tell myself that now is my busy season. Now and then I get tired of it. I am weary. BUT then I tell myself that I will have lots of quiet, lonely days soon enough. Love this post!

The Young's said...

Great post. It is really good to be reminded that we WILL miss these days. It's hard sometimes to remember that!! Thanks for a wonderful reminder!!

Andrea said...

That was so beautifully written. And it really struck a chord with me.

I love getting reminders about this sort of thing.

Thanks for blessing me today!

Kelly said...

This is one of favorite posts in recent memory. You have captured beautifully the reason I blog and articulated wonderfully how I desire to live a life of contentment in Christ. Thanks for sharing!

Heather C said...

I so love this post, Xandra!

"Drink each other in through the fighting, the tears and the joys."

What a beautiful and apt description of marriage... something I pray I'll continue to do through the next ten years, as I have the past ten.

Beautiful post!


freetofly said...

So wise! We all do this in one way or another. A couple of years ago (and I am so still learning this) The Lord started dealing with me about being in the moment. You know looking at the eyes that are speaking to you. Listening, really listening. Your post reminds of that!

Thanks & Happy Valentine's Day, Xandra!

Anonymous said...

I too love this post! What a gift to capture these memories in writing not only for ourselves but for our kids (and perhaps grandkids) :) That's why I journal too - I hope my little ones will become readers cos they'll have plenty to keep them going for a while *hehe*