Updated: Feb 13, 2018
"The days are long, the years are short". "They grow up so fast". "Don't blink". All phrases you hear a billion times when you are becoming a parent. All phrases revolving around the same idea- make sure you live in the moment.
These reminders have been both haunting and a gift for me.
I know my son is growing up. I try to sit in each moment I have with him and soak it up, and for the most part I do a good job. Yet, In the back of my mind I'm so aware of time. I'm so aware that each second that ticks by he is growing older (and I am too, but I like to forget that). I grab at time, trying to stop it, but it always slips through my clenched hands.
Completely out of my control.
I sit in these moments, staring at my baby for as long as I can. The next thing I know it's a month later and I'm trying to remember what he looked like the month prior but I can't remember. All I can see is him right now. I can't remember his tiny, tiny hands or the little noises he made as a newborn. I can't remember how much lighter he felt in my arms and how I held him. I wonder why my memory bank is failing me. Sleep deprivation, perhaps. I can't stare at every inch of his face enough.
Despite the fact that as of late I am always weepy, I often get teary eyed in these moments. By often, I mean everyday. I don't want to be sad here with him. I'm aware that this is not what people mean by "living in the moment", but it's where I'm at. I ask the Lord for peace. Oftentimes He reminds me that His timing is perfect in how He created us humans to grow. It's not too slow, it's not too fast. Are you sure God? Are you sure you can't slow down the time clock.. just for a couple years?
Then I'm reminded of the day I gave birth and how much love I felt for that little human they laid on my chest. It was a lot of love. Then I think about how much I love him now... and somehow, even though I didn't think it was possible, that love has multiplied a billion times. The love bank in my heart was completely full at his birth but somehow the bank itself has expanded and there is so much love there.
I don't even know what to do with it all.
This picture in my mind reminds me that this love for my son isn't going anywhere, and regardless of his age he won't be any less special to me. Our relationship may change, but it will become beautiful in new ways too. Right now it's all about the cuddles, giggles and getting to know each other. In a few years it will be about the conversations and learning while exploring this big world together. And even decades from now, it will be about enjoying and loving the wonderful adult human who somehow shares my DNA and has a mind and personality of his own (and hopefully still some cuddles every once in awhile).
Watching them grow will naturally bring grief to a parent's heart, but maybe there is no "best time" with children. Maybe we can calm our aching hearts with the reassurance that there are beautiful moments along the ENTIRE journey. None better than others, all just different.
So today I choose to live in the moment, yes. Even to let myself grieve a bit if I need. I also choose to be excited of what the future holds for my baby and look forward to who he will become. It's true life is short, but the whole journey can be beautiful!