I heard when family and friends told me the days of diapers, nursing, long nights with zero sleep, and the challenges of 3 kids age 4 and under would supposedly go fast and I would long for those days back. I heard what they said and quickly pronounced them insane. NO one in their right mind would long for mounds of poopy diapers, sleepless zombie nights, and the insanity of two energetic toddlers and a newborn. NO ONE. So I never “listened” – I only heard.
And I wont say I renounce that in any way. I dont long for those days… but I am a bit wistful. THAT much I will admit to.
Last weekend I spent the better part of our days sprawled on the hardwood floor strategically helping place science fair info onto freestanding display boards. We cut out craftily made art to decorate it, scrap booked the backgrounds for the results, and added google eyes to the banana “guys” we made to characterize the Banana project. While the girls worked on the science fair projects, Derek and Drake went off to Boy Scouts where he made bird feeders and free-hanging treats to welcome our spring bird friends home with.
Tonight the efforts paid off at school where we went to celebrate the Science fair results and see the projects in the gym. Alli took 2nd place and Lindsey 1st place in their categories. We were proud of them! Derek and I watched Drake dance a spanish dance during the Learning Fair, Alli play her recorder with classmates, and Lindsey perform a play in her class she helped co-write. They not only did great on their projects, but they showed such maturity and growth with their performances tonight.
I know, I sound like a proud mama gloating. Yeah, somewhat true I spose 🙂
But it oddly makes me a bit wistful. I get a bit wistful every now and again because I am only beginning to feel the speed with which this train ride of parenthood is running at. It felt microscopically slow when there were 2 in diapers and one on the way… It felt slow when they were all toddling around getting into trouble underfoot daily as I tried to keep my sanity. It was incredibly hard to imagine a day they would be out leading their own lives (like they are now) when I never caught a break and they were always being drug to the grocery store, bank, gas station, doctors offices, and to every errand in between. I thought those days would NEVER end.
But now? Now it feels like they grow another foot each week. They are doing things I cant believe they can possibly be old enough for. They surprise me, touch my heart in amazing ways, and humble me. They are becoming amazing people in their own rights. And for a moment, just a small moment, I just want to go back and capture one small day where they were tiny and playing with little toys and singing nursery songs. I dont want the poop diapers per se, but I would love an hour with my smiley baby and the giggles that melted my heart.
That said, knowing you can never go back, I sat up and took notice tonight of every moment at hand. I will never be able to recapture the night Drake danced front and center a spanish dance with a little girl, and the goofy lopsided grin he sported the whole time. Alli wont perform in another 4th grade recorder presentation, and Lindsey wont have a 6th grade play again. The next school program they will all be a year older and it will be all new and different. I was actually sick as a dog tonight, but I dare not miss it. If I did, there would be no getting that memory back of watching my little babies turned young people. I want to remember the pride on their faces and the joy they had in showing off their projects.
So to all you wonderful parents of youngsters, yeah, it really does go fast. Trust me. Dont just hear me, LISTEN UP! And to those of you deep in the center of “middle parenthood” LISTEN UP – because someday these will be the days you are wistful for as you send off your grown children to colleges, jobs, and marriage. We will be wistful for the long nights of forgotten essays due tomorrow, projects, plays, dances, and off key recorders.
Enjoy your babies, enjoy your children, but most of all, enjoy the blessings that surround you daily… and truly appreciate and live in the moment.