‘My boys asked me to build a fort. Seriously, it was amazing. Until they asked me to spend the night with them.’: Mom learns to accept all the things she ‘just can’t do anymore’

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“My boys wanted me to build a fort in their room the other night. It’s summertime and I am all about a good fort, so I gathered chairs and bean bags and couch cushions and sheets and everything else I could find, and I constructed the most awesomely fabulous fort of all time. It was legit. Like, 2 legit to quit.

Seriously, it was amazing.

Until they asked me to spend the night with them. In their fort. On the hard floor. Amongst the stuffed animals and Star Wars blankets and child-size sleeping bags.


I did it. I obliged. I smiled and pretended to have fun. I slept in that teeny tiny space. But I paid for it the next morning. Boy, did I ever.

My eyes were puffy from lack of sleep. My neck was sore from sleeping all wonkified and curled up in a weird position trying to fit my adult-sized body in the 3×1 foot space they left for me. My back was sore from being kicked and punched 10,000 billion times by tiny hands and feet.

Y’all. I can’t do that anymore.

I’m too old, or too grouchy, or too in-love with sleep. Whichever it may be, I just can’t do that anymore, not if I want to get as much out of life as possible.

And suddenly that brought up this entire list of things I miiiiiiiight not be able to do like I could when I was 16. I am not Taylor Swift. I am not 22, and I am not even feeling 22. I feel every single part of my age.

I tried to do a round-off and could barely move the next day:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Eating junk and still being skinny:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Staying out at a party past 11 pm:
– I can still do that, but I don’t want to do that anymore.

Shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Wearing bras without serious support:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Not worrying about bills:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Crying because I don’t have any plans on Saturday night:
– – I can’t do that anymore.

Waiting for the next stage of life to be happy:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Caring about what people think:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Being afraid to fail:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Letting my personal tank go empty:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Running around here and there and filling my time up with meaningless stuff:
– – I can’t do that anymore.

Wasting my time on who’s who and what’s what and keeping up with the ‘it’ crowd:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Changing who I am just to fit in:
– – I can’t do that anymore.

Comparing everything I do with what that girl over there is doing:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Getting involved in petty drama:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Believing I don’t have anything valuable to offer the world:
– I can’t do that anymore.

Living my life like I’m walking around on eggshells:
– I can’t do that anymore.

I’d give just about anything for my 16-year-old body again. (I mean…I wouldn’t give up chips and salsa and cookies dough, or anything crazy, but you know.) I had some good time in high school, and I made some good friends, but you couldn’t get me back inside that building if you lured me there with chai tea lattes and Lululemon stretchy pants.

I’ve learned way too much since those days. I’ve gained way too much experience. I’ve changed too much. I’ve worked way too hard to become somebody I am truly proud of.

I’ve given my all to being a good wife, a good mother, a good friend and I have FINALLY learned to let go of all of the things I can’t do anymore. I have finally learned to let go of all the things I can’t be anymore, and that has given me the freedom to find all the things I can do, and all the things I can be, and I love it.

No, you won’t see me doing the splits anytime soon. You won’t see me in a short little cheerleading skirt. Those days have long passed, but you won’t see me crying because I got left out either. You won’t see me standing there in the cafeteria awkwardly holding my tray, hoping someone will want me to sit next to them.

I can’t do that anymore.
I don’t want to do that anymore.
I don’t need to do that anymore.

I know who I am, and I know what I bring to the table. Now, I just sit down wherever I am and make a comfortable place for myself, and I welcome everyone who needs a place to belong to sit down.”

Courtesy Amy Weatherly

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Weatherly. The article originally appeared here. Follow Amy on Instagram here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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