We hear it all the time: “One day you will miss this, it goes so fast…” The fact is people say it, because it’s true. I am a pretty emotional person. I cry easily and find that I can get emotionally attached to pretty much anything when it comes to my kids. I have HORDED their baby clothes. I can’t seem to get rid of a single thing. My daughter’s baby swing is still put together and sitting in her room. She’s almost two. I just cannot bring myself to take it down, because once I take it down it means that she won’t need it any more, ever again, because she isn’t a baby anymore.
There are days I get so sad about them growing up and not being babies anymore that I could literally just cry all day long. I know this all seems dramatic, but it’s true! After a day of boxing up baby clothes and trying to sort through, for the millionth time, what to sell or donate, my sweet husband walks in and can tell I’m down. Without having to say anything to him, he just looks at me and says, “Enjoy the ride…”
Enjoy the ride. I know that I am currently living some of the sweetest times of my life. The weight of that is so grand that sometimes I feel like it is just slipping through my fingers without control. My children are little and rely on me for pretty much everything. What they eat, what they wear, what they watch, what they play with, the list goes on. I can’t even go to the bathroom for 30 seconds without hearing, “MOOOOMMMM!!!” I start to lose my patience a hundred times a day and just take a deep breath and say to myself, “Enjoy the ride. You know how fast this is going to go…”
Raising these children is the most beautiful and difficult privilege I can imagine. There are days where the tantrums and tears are endless. Then there are days full of snuggles, and “I love yous.” Sometimes I feel like we are living in fast forward. Racing around to school, and therapies, doctor appointments, and soccer, play dates, and work. Then other times I feel like things are moving in slow motion. The days when everyone is sick and your house is under construction for three weeks because your ceiling caved in from a leaking AC unit (current real life).
It’s not always easy to enjoy the season that we are in, but as we all know too well, it is just that, a season, and before we know it, that season will be over.
Every night, at the end of the day I take my tiny 22 month old to her room and I rock her and sing to her. At this point with my oldest we were following all the “rules” and laying him right down in his crib with a gentle pat on the back. But I know how fast this goes and I want to enjoy it because this season with her is almost over. The truth is this: I’m just not ready for it to be over. I really do want a slow down button. I want this stage of my children’s lives to last just a little longer. But, that’s not how it works, so my only other choice is to enjoy every second. That’s the choice we are all given.
During the good, the bad and the ugly, it’s not always easy, but we may as well enjoy it because being a mom is such a gift and these children grow so fast. I love them just as much at every stage of life, but there really is something about them being little. The innocence in their faces and sweet soft skin and little twinkle in their eyes. There is just something about this stage right here.
So, later today when my daughter throws her sippy cup at me and my son has to be asked to put on his shoes 4,000 times before he actually gets up and does it, I will be reminded that God designed life this way for a reason, that it goes so fast because our patience couldn’t take it if it didn’t!!! But more than anything, I will try and remember the times today when my son couldn’t wait to tell me about his day at school and what my daughter’s voice sounds like when she asks me to hold her.
All of these things are constant reminders to just enjoy the ride.