Don’t wish it all away…

 

At 4am today Berrik came and woke me up because he had had a nightmare.  I took him back down to his room and tucked him in.  He asked if I would crawl in with him for a little while, so I did.  He fell back to sleep quickly and so I headed back to my own bed.  I couldn’t get back to sleep and I was laying there feeling frustrated knowing that today would be a long day of feeling exhausted.  But as I was laying there, I was thinking about how neither McKenna or Avi had ‘needed’ me in the middle of the night in years.  It occurred to me that it won’t be long before Berrik also stops coming to me in the night for comfort.  And while I enjoy full nights of sleep, I realized in that moment that I will be so sad when my baby no longer needs me as much.  My kids are growing up so fast.  This was a reminder for me to not wish it all away.

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I remember when the kids were babies, and thinking I couldn’t wait until they would sleep through the night, talk, walk, go to the potty on their own, etc. etc.  Time moved more slowly then, and I sometimes felt overwhelmed by the amount of energy it took to care for 3 little kids.  Now my oldest is 14, and I’m realizing that there are only 4 more years until we are preparing to send her off into the world.  Four years until she is expected to take care of herself, make big life decisions, start her life independent from me.  While this is exciting, it is also frightening and makes me want to press pause on everything.  It reminds me to not wish it all away.  The sleepless nights, the driving to activities, the money spent, the worry, the tears….these are all gifts.

My middle baby is a talker.  She wants to discuss EVERYTHING.  For hours.  And if she doesn’t have anything pressing to talk about, she’ll talk about any other topic she can think of. Sometimes I think that I would like her to just stop talking for a bit…to give me some peace.  But today I am reminded that I should be grateful that she tells me everything that crosses her mind.  Every little thing!  I need to stop wishing it all away, as one day soon she will leave the house and I won’t get to hear every thought that crosses her busy brain.  I know I will miss it.

The next 10 years will be so milestone filled that it makes me feel ill.  First time driving, first boyfriends/girlfriends, graduations, heartbreaks, major successes, major failures, university, maybe even weddings and grandchildren (WHAT?!?).  Today I am tired.  So tired that my eyes hurt.  But today I get to spend the entire day learning with my brilliant son.  His confidence is soaring and he is excelling at school for the first year in his short school career.  We met with his homeschool teacher/supervisor yesterday, and despite taking grade 1 Math and LA this year (grade 2 for all other subjects), she feels he will be ready to enroll in grade 3 Math and LA in September because he has progressed so far in such a short time.  I’m going to enjoy every minute with him because I am so fortunate to be able to share in this with him.  After school I am going to listen to every word my chatty Kathy has to say, because one day she won’t be in my house every day to tell me about the minute details of her life.  I’m going to watch my biggest girl at dance tonight because even though she’s 14, she still likes to have her parents watch her rehearse.  These moments are all so fleeting.

I hope I can remember to take advantage of every opportunity to spend time with and connect with my kids, regardless if it means less sleep for me, or sacrificing some alone time.  Not to say moms don’t deserve a break from kids and shouldn’t take these breaks with zero guilt, but just to say that I want to remember to enjoy the moments, good and bad, because one day all too soon we will enter a different stage of life.  I want to look back and know that I enjoyed the previous stage for all it’s ups and downs, and am then ready to move on to whatever comes next.

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Don’t wish it all away.  Just don’t.  Every phase of raising kids has brought new challenges and new joys.  There will always be things that I do not miss about each stage (um…potty training?!?), but there are also many things that I would give anything to have back, even just for a minute (baby snuggles, toddler chub, first words, first steps, first days of school, preschool-aged humor, the devotion and awe of little kids who believe their parents know EVERYTHING…).  I am guilty of wishing things away.  Today I am going to try to stop doing that.  I want to be present.  I will appreciate the moments. And if you hear me complaining, please remind me to stop wishing it all away.

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