A pile of shoes by the front door can be annoying, but it is also evidence of loved ones living together under one roof. (Jennifer Bardsley)

A pile of shoes by the front door can be annoying, but it is also evidence of loved ones living together under one roof. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Remembering to cherish the things a mom takes for granted

Here’s to the noise, the mess and the laughter that fills life between now and when the kids are grown.

Right now my Facebook feed is full of happy posts from friends sharing the news of what college their graduating senior will attend in the fall. My kids are in sixth and 10th grades, so thank goodness the stress of their college admissions/acceptance cycle is still a ways off.

But the clock is ticking, not just for big decisions like college, but for life as we know it, with all four of us living together under one roof.

Things I take for granted:

■ Hugging my son and daughter each night before I go to bed and telling them I love them.

■ Waking them up in the morning, again, and again and again.

■ Knowing where my children are and what they are doing.

■ Seeing them grow, right in front of my eyes.

We have two large baskets by our front door. The basket on the left is for my daughter and I to stow our shoes. The one on the right is for my husband and son. Even though the baskets can hold all of the shoes we own, at any given time there are half a dozen pairs of shoes sitting on the floor in front of the baskets, plus a couple of badminton rackets. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person in the family who puts their shoes away!

Things I take for granted:

■ The messy pile of shoes at my front door.

■ Help carrying groceries in from the car.

■ The sound of stomping Dr. Martens boots on the carpet.

■ Needing to replace sneakers that no longer fit.

■ Spontaneous badminton games in the back yard.

I cook a homemade dinner every night, and we sit at the kitchen table to eat it. I am always the first one done, and eager to get the dishes cleaned up and put away. But it takes the rest of my family another 30 minutes to finish eating. They linger, talking and laughing between bites. Some of the conversations are annoying because they involve YouTube jokes that I don’t understand.

Things I take for granted:

■ Having people on hand at all times who can explain the latest YouTuber drama to me.

■ Being complimented on my cooking, even if it was marginal.

■ My kids wanting to spend time together as a family.

■ Eating dinner together every night.

Sept. 1, 2023, when my son might leave for college, is only 873 days away. The shoe basket will be tidy, dinner will be fast and the house will be eerily quiet. Here’s to the noise, the mess and the laughter that fills my life between now and then. Let me replace “take for granted” with “cherish.” The days are long, the years are fast, and every minute is meaningful.

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at teachingmybabytoread@gmail.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

R.J. Whitlow, co-owner of 5 Rights Brewery, has recently expanded to the neighboring shop, formerly Carr's Hardware. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
County craft breweries’ past lives: hardware store, jail

Most breweries in Snohomish County operate in spaces that formerly housed something far different — from boat builders to banks.

Caption: Stay-at-home parents work up to 126 hours a week. Their labor is valuable even without a paycheck.
A mother’s time is not ‘free’ — and they put in 126-hour workweeks

If you were to pay a stay-at-home mom or dad for their time, it would cost nearly $200,000 a year.

CloZee performs during the second day of Summer Meltdown on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in Darrington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The psychedelic fest Summer Meltdown is back — and in Monroe

The music and camping event is on for July 28-31, with a new venue along the Skykomish River.

How to cultivate inner peace in the era of COVID, insurrection

Now more than ever, it’s important that we develop and practice relaxation and mindfulness skills that calm our minds and bodies.

Budapest’s House of Terror.
Cold War memories of decadent Western pleasures in Budapest

It’s clear that the younger generation of Eastern Europeans has no memory of the communist era.

Gardening at spring. Planting tree in garden. Senior man watering planted fruit tree at his backyard
Bare root trees and roses have arrived for spring planting

They’re only available from January through March, so shop early for the tree or rose you want.

Help! My Expedia tour credit is about to expire

Kent York cancels his tour package in Norway that he booked through Expedia after the pandemic outbreak. But the hotel won’t offer a refund or extend his credit. Is he about to lose $1,875?

Veteran Keith F. Reyes, 64, gets his monthly pedicure at Nail Flare on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021 in Stanwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No more gnarly feet: This ‘Wounded Warrior’ gets pedicures

Keith Reyes, 64, visits a Stanwood nail salon for “foot treatments” that help soothe blast injuries.

Photo Caption: A coal scuttle wasn't always used for coal; it could hold logs or collect ashes. This one from about 1900 sold for $125 at DuMouchelles in Detroit.
(c) 2022 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.
Coal scuttles of days long gone by now used for fire logs

This circa 1900 coal scuttle is made of oak with brass trim, and sold for $125 at auction.

Most Read