Often times I am in a hurry. A hurry to get the kids ready, a hurry to get out of the house in the morning and into work, a hurry to get home from work. A hurry to get back home anytime I leave the house. It seems my life is nothing but a rush.
The other day I was sitting with my toddler in her room, in the dark, with Coldplay music playing on my phone. As this is our normal bedtime routine, I stopped being in my head so much to really enjoy her and the moment of holding her. Her smell, her softness. So often I forget to be in the present and I just do – not really feeling the moments, rather just going through them. I’m in my head a lot. What to clean, what load of laundry I need to wash, will I be able to watch TV tonight? Random thoughts. Thoughts that rob me of my present. Thoughts always of the future.
My children are growing fast. Too fast. They say, “The days are long but the years short.” True, I agree that saying is very true but what they don’t say is when you are in it, when you are really in it, you want the time to pass. When your infant isn’t sleeping, you want her to be old enough to sleep through the night because you are tired, deadly tired. And it seems day and night run into one giant cloud. It evaporates quickly and you realize your child is 6 months.
At 6 months and beyond, you and your baby may be sleeping better but your baby is also learning new skills, like how to crawl. You child proof your house and tell yourself it’s a short-term thing, this too shall pass. You try to enjoy the days, and you do but they seem to fade. And before you know it, your baby is now walking. And from walking to running and getting into things they shouldn’t. You like how they have independence now but they also have no common sense. Children ages 1 to 2 usually walk around with shiners on their face for this very reason.
But not only do they hurt themselves because they are still klutzy and lack the mental ability to understand everything, they are also cranky as hell. Usually because they can’t vocalize their wants, and this can be an extremely hard time depending on your child’s temperament.
But then they turn 3, and you start to see more and more of their capabilities, their personality. You see them losing the baby fat more and more each day and while you like who they are becoming, you miss the baby you once held in your arms. They might be potty trained now but still have accidents here and there. Bed wetting, peeing their pants, having meltdowns at the grocery store, all the usual stuff that comes with being 3. They are eager to do, yet still, lack the knowledge in understanding that a cookie is a treat and not a meal. They get under your skin – you wish they were older and could understand why they can’t play outside in their underwear.
Age 5 comes around and you are finally able to breathe and you notice the maturity that is forming. You take a step back at the person your child is becoming and you are a bit in awe. You remember the sleepless nights, the colic, the tantrums, you’ve been through it all and now, now not so much. It makes you hold still and realize that time has passed and is passing too soon.
Just 5 years ago you nurtured that sweet baby with the sound of your voice, the warmth of your body. Just 5 years ago you cried because you were at a loss to get her to sleep. Just 5 years ago you learned that motherhood was more than just changing dirty diapers and singing lullabies. Just 5 years ago you were a new mom and now, now you feel like a pro. Just 5 years ago…
5 years from now your child will be that much older. Life with littles is patchy. It’s up and down, left and right. And it doesn’t stop. Time doesn’t stop. So snuggle and kiss ‘em more. Because years from now, this will all be just a memory.