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A Mother's Moment - Realizing What's Most Important

In our day to day life we tend to get bogged down with just that – the day-to-day. Have you ever opened your eyes on a Friday and wondered where the week has gone? I know I have. There are times when I can’t even remember what happened the day before because I’m so concerned with what’s happening tomorrow. When our daughter was born I remember my parents and my friends with children telling me to enjoy every minute because it goes by so fast, but when you’re in the thick of it, you can’t really see it, right? When you’re spending all your money on diapers and daycare, you often ask yourself: "how much longer can this go on?"

Well it was yesterday when I found myself having a “moment”. It was poignant. It was tough. It was extremely bitter sweet. My 3-year-old daughter didn’t want to take a nap (she’s getting to that “drop the nap” place in life and I’m dreading it, but I digress). But because I wake up at 4a.m. for work, I NEED to make sure that I lay down for an hour at around 3p.m., otherwise I am unable to function that night, or the next day. It’s the way I’ve been living my life for as long as I remember and once I had kids, I was able to time that nap out with the naps of my kids and it worked. But like I said, she didn’t want to nap so I gave her the option of either playing in her room for an hour, or getting into bed with me to watch TV while my son and I got some sleep. She chose the latter and there she was, hanging out on her dad’s side of the bed watching Imagination Movers while I slept. When I woke up, about 45 minutes later, my daughter had found a way to maneuver herself right up next to me and wrap my arms around her. I KNOW I didn’t fall asleep that way, but I woke up to discover that I had become her personal, special blanket. And that’s when it happened. I started to cry. (She still didn’t know that I was awake yet). So why was I crying? It was because in that moment, lying in bed with my arms wrapped around my teeny tiny 3-year-old, I was reminded how fast the time has flown and how quickly it will continue to go by.

I suddenly became very aware that she’s not going to want to climb into bed with me and cuddle up next to me forever. In fact, I’m not even sure how much longer it’s going to last. Word on the street is that girls go through a “hate their mother, rebel at everything” phase and as her mother, I hate the idea of that. So as I laid there with my little girl, tears running down my face, I reminisced about the day I found out I was pregnant with her, the day she was born, the day we brought her home, the day she first smiled, the first cold, the first fever, the first time she sat up, crawled, talked, walked. It seemed so far away yet like it happened yesterday at the same time. But why was I crying? (and, at this point, I was REALLY crying). It’s because I couldn’t believe it all happened. I couldn’t believe how fast it went by and I couldn’t believe how aware I was that there were moments when I know I wasn’t fully present. I was worried about one thing or another, I was pre-occupied with one thing or another, I was focusing on one thing or another and all the while, I was missing it.

Now this is not to say that I missed everything, because I didn’t. I have the most amazing memories of the last three years with DD so I wasn’t beating myself up or anything. I just think that in that moment, while lying with my sweet little daughter, (still crying) I couldn’t believe how crazy I was about her and how lucky I was to have her in my life. I don’t know about you, but I always knew that I wanted kids. Not because I was the most maternal woman ever (you can ask my husband, I’m NOT). Not because I was excited to go through pregnancy (you can ask my husband, I HATED it), but because that’s just what I thought I was ‘meant’ to do. Get married, and have kids. Simple, right? Well I’ll tell you, I had NO idea what having my kids would do to me as a person. She’s one of two of the most incredible things that I have ever done and in that moment I promised myself that I would try to stop a little more. That I would try to remember little things that she says or does. Write them down even (like my husband does). Take more pictures. And of course, spend as many more moments as possible laying with her, hugging her, kissing her like crazy, knowing that this particular “need to be with mommy every second” phase will eventually end. But until that moment arrives, I am going to cherish all the moments before. So I lied there with her. Squeezing her tight (still crying) while remembering all the wonderful moments that I have shared with her already, all the hilarious things that she says, all the amazing things she can do. And while in the middle of this thinking and reminiscing (and crying), a little voice peeped in.

“Mommy! You’re squeezing me too tight that I can’t even wiggle! – and stop sniffing!! I can’t hear the TV!”

And so it begins.   


Related Post:

The Challenge of Change - A Father's Fear of the Inevitable - Fodder 4 Fathers

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