You know what’s super unenjoyable? Being told to enjoy something. It’s a bit like being told to calm down. If I’m having a brain popping rage attack and you tell me to calm down, you might as well whisper “and then set fire to my car” because the end result will be much the same.
So when some sweet, well-meaning older lady looks at me and my children as they prepare to engage in the 76th Hunger Games on the floor of the fruit and veg section and titters, “cherish every moment”, it’s touch-and-go to see if I can muster a non-committal, doesn’t-reach-the-eyes smile or if I just grab her round the neck and throw her into the arena with the kids.
“It goes so fast,” she breathes. Misty eyes. Head tilted to the side. Hands across the heart. It’s always the same.
I know people mean well. They’ve been there, they know how fast it goes and how much I’ll miss it when my kids grow up. I know it too. I know I’ll sob when I think about how precious these days were. But when you’re past the stage of poo and tears and screaming, you tend to forget that some of it was actual bullshit.