“Enjoy this time with your baby, it will fly by!”
Oh, I did NOT just say that. But I did.
I watched a first time mom holding a sweaty and squirmy baby on the baseball bleachers. I remember those days, all I wanted was to sit and enjoy something and the baby just wanted freedom. Neither of us were happy.
Now all I see in that situation is a baby in the arms of his mother when my own two can no longer fit in the crevices of my elbow. I forget the frustration his mother must be feeling, because she just wants to watch the game.
Honestly it drove me nuts when grandma’s or people whose kids were grown used to say those words to me, and it wasn’t because deep down I didn’t know it was true.
The words usually came from a bystander watching me drag a screaming kid across the floor at Culver’s because he didn’t like their ketchup, or when I was out of breath from chasing him across the outfield mid-game at his brother’s little league game.
“Cherish this time with them, because it will go by faster than you know.”
Cherish this? I just wanted hide somewhere and preferably with chocolate.
Now Connor (almost 10) is almost as tall as I am, and Logan (almost 7) has been hard to pick up since he was two–he’s not fat, but he is just solid. I didn’t know that this would happen so fast, even though I was warned about it.
They are growing up and our family is complete.
Due to a recent cancer scare, I underwent a hysterectomy—removing any chance of another pregnancy ever again.
It is strange, but not disappointing, to know that the family I dreamed of my whole life has been fully realized. All those years of daydreaming about marriage and motherhood, and now I know. It is more than I ever asked for.
Parenting has changed my perspective on almost everything, because I thought it was kind of a by-the-book process, and now I know parents are just people doing the best they can with what they have been given.
I have gained empathy. Where a screaming toddler flops, there my heart will be.
Be it the the aisles of Walmart or the restaurant I went to for quiet time, I will always have an unspoken bond with that mom. I know the look in the eyes of a mommy who is ready to give up, and I also know she never will.
I have gained faith. Real love is messy and it is beautiful, and God reminds us of that through explosive diapers.
God got His hands dirty when He created us, and parenting is our turn to do the same.
Love the good times, embrace the bad ones, and hold your nose and stick it out through the worst ones.
Another thing I have gained, which is not to be forgotten, is a new chapter.
My boys aren’t fully grown, they are just bigger. As he stands at bat on the home plate with laser sharp focus, my heart swells and I watch. And when he proudly picks his nose on third base, I shake my head while I feel a tap on my shoulder.
“Cherish this time watching him play, it will go by so fast.”
I hold back a few tears and smile; ain’t that the truth.