My precious Miri is 10 weeks old today. As I sat looking at her the other night, trying to coax her into a smile, I found myself already wondering when she’d start to giggle. She waved her little hands around and when they met mine, they paused, and I thought, “Did she try to touch me on purpose? I wonder when she will reach for my face. Is this a milestone that I should record?”
Suddenly, I was thinking of Ava, our five year old. She’s so grown up, so well-spoken, so…not a baby anymore. My heart felt a little broken at the realization that I spend (and had already spent) too much precious time thinking about the “what’s next” and sacrificing the “now”.
Ava begins Kindergarten in the fall, and Isla will be going to preschool for the first time. Our home will be different. I will be missing two little people throughout the day. My home will be a lot quieter. Our lazy Tuesdays and Thursdays will no longer be just that. Instead, we will be in the car for most of the morning and our schedule will never be as free as it is now. We will long for summer days just to have the blessed time that I have been taking for granted.
When will this one walk? We have to get that one potty-trained. She’ll be eating rice cereal next month, so maybe I should start stocking up now. Wouldn’t it be nice if they stayed in their own beds all night…
I catch myself thinking about such things often. Too often. I need, we need, to soak up the now. I need to sit and listen to Isla’s conversations, because all too soon, her little accents and quirks will have faded, and she’ll be as well-spoken as her sister. I need to relish in Ava’s nose-kisses and the way she wants to be touching me in some way at all times, because she’s growing more and more independent every day, and maybe tomorrow will be the day she decides she’s “too big” for that stuff. I need to hold Miri on my chest, and feel her weightiness that’s comprised of nothing but squishy baby rolls, because those rolls melt faster than any mama wants them to. I need to enjoy the way her feathery, little mohawk tickles my chin when I hold her, because, if she’s anything like her sisters, it’ll be down to her shoulders faster than I can blink, and I’ll be trying to convince her to let me brush it. I need to chase Eden around the house in her disastrous potty-training nakedness, and tickle her belly and pinch her bum cheeks, because this hilarious, albeit messy, stage won’t last long, and she’ll be taking herself to the bathroom like my big girls do.
I just need to live in the now. It’s one of those things that you tell yourself, and that others will remind you to do…”Enjoy them.” And you think, “Yeah, yeah. I know”, but then, you get caught up in preparing for everything else that’s coming. And before you know it, another day has ended. Another day will have gone by without you savoring the moments. We’re too worried about the schedules, and the checklists, and the milestones, and we’re sacrificing the memories. I don’t care to dwell on the future as much from here on out. We’ll work towards what we need to work towards for the children to be healthy, safe, and on-track developmentally, but I’m tired of using my mental space as a to-do list when it should simply be used in being present.
Will you join me in being present today? Stop thinking about summer vacation or school in the fall. Stop wondering when baby will sit-up when you just need to be enjoying her newness. Stop getting frustrated if your potty-training tot just “isn’t getting it”. Instead, savor the sight of ornery little tushies running wild and making messes with the toilet paper. Sit and record every expression. Write their quotes on the tablet of your heart. Play a game or build a puzzle and take a moment to touch their hand and take in how soft they are. Even at five, my sweet girl still has darling, pudgy, dimpled fingers. I need to pay attention to those details before they are gone, and I have a house full of little women and not little ones. Read a story and smell their hair. They all have their own, sweet smell beneath that maple syrup… Enjoy them, right now, mama. I appreciate you reading this, but close up your laptop, put down your phone for a few, forget about those mile markers, and go make a memory. xoxoxo