By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now
Today I was driving to Meridian Grocery to pick up a few pumpkin pie-baking items, and a song came on the radio that took me back about 20 years.
It was the same Kid Rock tune playing on the radio back then as I took my youngest son, Robert, to Newton High School one icy, snowy morning. The weather outside was crazy—I think it was sleeting and the road was a little treacherous.
My son, who doesn’t talk much or express feelings, said as we tried to make it to school, “This is awesome!”
It’s funny how little moments like that can take a person back in time.
As I raised my three sons, we had a lot of moments, the memories of which hit me from time to time. People always told me kids grow up so fast. I didn’t believe them back then. I do now. My sons grew up fast. Too fast. Sometimes I feel an ache in my soul for them to be young again. It doesn’t hit often, but those were great days.
Sure, it wasn’t easy being the mom and dad for three kids, but I did it. We had some great times. We watched a lot of movies, played games, cooked food, went to a lot of soccer games, went to more soccer games, drove to vacations, went trick-or-treating, shopped for Christmas presents and celebrated various holidays together.
They were the ones who got me interested in horror movies. They guided me to watch it, and I thought it was going to be gross, but there’s hardly any blood in it—just a little at the end on Laurie Stroud’s arm. That’s it. Rob Zombie had a different take on it.
During the years, they introduced me to other movies, like “The Crow” starring Bruce Lee’s son, Jason Lee (the movie where he was accidentally killed), music, such as tunes by Rage Against the Machine and Salt-N-Peppa, other movies like “Mortal Kombat,” among many other things.
They developed interests and then shared them with me. I’m thinking they learned about all this stuff through friends, school and sports.
They always brought home some knowledge of the world. My oldest, Rodger, has been fascinated by computers most of his life, and it’s because of him I got a computer at home, as well as a cell phone. Gentle nudging from my kids. I didn’t want a cell because I didn’t want anyone to be able to call me no matter where I am. Now, I have a Pavlov-dogian response to a bell ringing on my cell, but instead of salivating, I have to look at it.
I still even have dreams about them being young and us moving to a new place.
For some reason, my oldest son likes to post this one formal portrait of us taken in the early 1990s. I don’t like my hair in that photo, but I do like my lack of wrinkles. I just groan when he posts it. One of my sons is smiling maniacally in it, facing another direction, while the other three of us are facing a different direction together. It’s just kind of a strange photo, the kind you see on Facebook sites about embarrassing, creepy family photos. Rodger calls it his “Glam-fam.” That’s just one of many memories.
There were the trips to the emergency room, mostly for my middle son, the stories at bedtime, the kisses goodnight, all the meals we had together, trips to visit grandparents and their aunt, vacations like going to Branson, Mo., and Colorado, my kids cooking with Grandma, probably hundreds of soccer games and finding three perfect costumes for Halloween each year. When we drove back to Newton from Branson one year, where we had been eating out for almost every meal, my youngest, Robert said, “I want home food!”
I do, of course, really enjoy them as adults, but we’re not living under the same roof anymore, which makes me sad sometimes.
They’ve added so much to my life. I feel very lucky to be their mom.
While you still can, just remember to hug and kiss your little ones as much as you can.
Wendy Nugent is the features editor and lead photographer for Harvey County Now. She can be reached at email@example.com.