“Mom, I’m starving!”
This is something I hear very often, as a mother of a young adult and a teenager. And when they say this, they mean it – boys eat an incredible amount of food, especially when they come home from their training or their matches or from a disco in the early hours of the morning.
Today being a public holiday, we all slept through the morning; in my case, because I’m exhausted and have to recover whenever I can; in their case because both went out last night and came home very late – or very early, depending on the perspective…
I woke up fairly early, brought some breakfast back to bed and fell asleep again until noon. I woke up refreshed and in a good mood. It was a good day to be home – a grey damp day, when you feel like doing absolutely nothing. I took some coffee – the much needed adrenalin – and sat down to read the newspapers.
After some time, Pedro came into the living room, still yawning “Good morning Mom”, and I replied with a smile “Good afternoon”! Afonso followed some time later. I knew my quiet moments were gone, because in a few minutes they would be telling me they were hungry and begging me to get lunch ready!
As I got up and went into the kitchen I could not help smiling. Today’s happenings are tomorrow’s memories, I thought. As I now miss hugging my little boys and sitting them on my lap (where they would certainly not fit today – I would be smashed by their weight!) and telling them bedside stories, in a few years when they have left home I will be missing these days when I still have them with me. Yes, they are noisy; yes, they eat a lot and make me buy huge amounts of food and spend a lot of money in the supermarket too; yes, they come from their rugby training very late every evening and I’m still putting their dinner on the table at 11pm, when I would have liked to be in bed; yes, they are very untidy and they leave their clothes scattered on the floor and I get mad at them because of that. But how I love the sound of their voices when they are speaking on the phone or talking to each other or simply calling “Mom!”, even if I know they certainly need something from me! How I love to hear them sing when they are happy, or putting their music on loud while they take a shower. And good music too! How I love to watch them sleeping when I go into their bedrooms in the morning to wake them up; how I love watching them as they leave every evening for the rugby club, the studs of their rugby boots making noise as they hit the elevator hall marble floor while I wish them “ good training”; how I love to watch them play rugby, how I shout for their team, how I rejoice when they score, how I cheer when their team is victorious…and how I pray for them to come out of the games safe and sound.
I could go on and on. There are so many small things part of our daily life today that will be lost as time goes by. They will become adults and finish their studies and find a job and leave. They will have their homes, their wives or companions, then their own children, and these moments will be gone, these happy moments of everyday life, when we still live together, when it’s only mother and sons. As it was today, a happy day simply because we were here together, because we are healthy and safe and full of plans and life is good to us.
I have read somewhere a very interesting sentence that says “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans”. I know many people always think the future will be better because today they don’t have everything they dream about. I think differently. Today is the moment you have to enjoy; make the most of what you have, value the little things, as those things that seem small today might seem great as you look back from the future. A day like today, a simple day at home with my boys, can be a very happy day that will leave unforgettable memories.
Life has some great, sublime moments, without any doubts. And I have been fortunate to have some. But I have leaned to find happiness in the quiet moments when I am with the persons I love best in this world.
That’s why I smile when I hear “Mom, I’m starving!” As I’m hearing now, again. After all, it’s dinner time. After dinner we’ll sit down and watch a movie. And the sheer joy of being together will make for some unforgettable moments that I will remember forever. Tomorrow’s memories.