“Younger children don’t let you sleep; older children don’t let you rest.” A Yiddish proverb. I remembered this quotation. Just now.
Because I see a mother. Pregnant. Late 20’s. Classy, but disheveled with jeans ripped the designer way. Prideful walk — good pride. And poise and confidence and such a pleasant face.
And I see tiredness on her face. Because younger children don’t let you sleep.
She walked right by me with her two-year-old gem — her son with darker skin and blondish curls (and my heart skipped a beat so I started writing this). He just stumbled past me. Following mommy because she’s pulling the chubby left arm along. Pigeon toed. Right index finger in mouth. With that kind of walk, where the distracted brain swivels the head left and right and up and down and the eyes dart back and forth every two seconds.
Toddlers don’t need no drugs; just give them a coffee house.
And they arrive at the coveted open table because Kéan Coffee always bustles. And dad, dressed for a day at the office. Slim. Together. Confident. A gentlemen, waiting at the bar for the coffee and hot chocolate. Brings to the table. Smiling. They sit down. Junior is the center of their attention. He almost falls off the chair haphazardly reaching for mommy’s croissant. Dad grabs him by the collar of his plaid shirt. Saves the day. One giggle and two sighs of relief. I continue to watch the trio’s dance. Bring me the popcorn because I’m watching a movie — the life of a young mother and father and toddler and baby in tummy. The bursting newness of life. What a movie.
I do remember those days. I can feel them. Here. Now. Bliss and joy and elation and that feeling of purpose you get when you know you’re truly needed. I remember all those public outings and all that attention from onlookers. Smiles and gawks, as if all our fans were all screaming inside “You’ve done something so right!”
I remember lack of sleep. But I can’t feel that. We can remember our pain of yesterday; thank God we can’t feel it.
I remember those days. Life back at home. Hundreds of innocent children’s books. Dr. Seuss. The innocent children’s TV shows. The innocent smell of the sweet skin and double-dose of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Baby Lotion. PBS Kids at six in the morning (Sesame Street and Clifford and Blue’s Clues). Apple juice. Onesies.
“Daddy, let’s play ‘boo.’”
The memories of younger Bree and Edison and Elliot.
Those memories are tangible things. Here at Kéan. Right now. In the eyes of the toddler with the curls.
Those magical years are not gone because the past resides in the present, if we want it to.
I want it to.
Oh. I do get to more sleep now.
But I rest less.