Recently I heard someone say, ” I wish you knew that this was ‘the good ole days’ while you were going through them.” It seems we always look back and reminisce about the good ole days, but don’t realize that in the moment, we are actually creating it.
This weekend was “the good ole days”. Not often are family weekends so perfect that you cannot, would not, change one thing about them. We celebrated our nephew’s graduation, but actually, we celebrated family.
The good times mean road trips. The kind where you drive through the night, taking shifts driving, then stopping at Denny’s at 2AM to eat breakfast and laugh. The kind of laughter that comes to the sleep deprived. The kind of laughter that comes from the same one liner joke that is funnier every time it is repeated.
The good times mean early morning coffee and late night mojitos. It’s long talks with your favorites that amount to reports on the kids, because even though they are grown, or nearly so, we will always find that is where our hearts return…to family.
The good times mean smiling at grandmas who mother the puppy dog since her babies are long gone. It means smiles when there is tension and relief when everything goes smooth….because we are family even in our dysfunction. It’s realizing that we all have dysfunction, even the seemingly idyllic families have less than perfect relationships. Dysfunction, however, does not mean it’s not the good times. No, the good times come from embracing what we cannot change and loving each other through it. That is what the good day are.
The good days are laying the diet aside for the day and watching Uncle C enjoy his beloved ice cream for just a weekend. No one reminds him that Tuesday will be here soon enough. We all let ourselves sample an extra helping of leftover Chinese and raid the refrigerator as the boys watch the game.
The good days are the girls in the hot tub, laughing and loving the young girls and telling stories about when we were their age. And the young girls listen and laugh and just maybe, tuck this night away as a good ole day that they will take out and remember down the road.
The good days are hugging good-bye in the early morning hours, while it is still dark and heading back to Georgia. It’s noticing that grandmas still tear up when they say goodbye to their babies, even though they are fifty. It is knowing that if she still feels that sad feeling saying goodbye to her children as old as they are, it is OK for you to feel sad when you leave yours.
The problem with the good ole days is that we don’t often understand that we are in them in the moment. But sometimes, like this weekend, you would not change one thing. When you have time to embrace family and share life with people you really love, you find that the good ole days is today. You don’t waste it. You tell them you love them. You hold them an extra minute when you hug goodbye. You linger over coffee to retell stories. When you get home, you look at your Lovey and tell him, “That was a perfect weekend.” Because the good ole days is not about perfect people, it’s about perfect love.