As a young mom of kids that were JUST over a year apart and then another one a few years later I used to dream about getting through a day without any crying meltdowns. I literally would count hours in between tears and wonder what it could possibly feel like to be without hysterics for one single day.
Going to the bathroom alone, showering sans numerous eyes peeking in on me, sitting down…. I WANTED A CLEAN HOUSE- like baseboards that sparkled clean. They all felt like the most unattainable presents- if only I could do them alone!! I wanted not to be trapped in my house watching the trees turn from green to gold to red, while still sitting there when the first flakes began to fall.
I say all of these things because at the time I was overwhelmed and exhausted (I thought). I couldn’t wait for my kids to get ‘a little bit older’ so we could….. you can fill in the blank- we all have them. I was wishing my season away because I thought the next would be the pinnacle.
I thought when they could dress themselves, feed themselves and God forbid wipe themselves I would have arrived. (I don't know where I thought I was going but I would KNOW it when I got there.)
Although no one would have been able to tell the younger me- and people tried- it's hard to hear when you're in the trenches…..those years were the most messily precious years of my life. I would give anything to go back and do it again. I wouldn’t have wished a single moment away- because it truly does go by SOOOO quickly. Sure it was loud and chaotic, but it was also sweet and innocent. We were surviving, in many instances, rather than living, but we were also all together.
Today those little feet are bigger than mine (for the most part). Their squeaky voices are deep. They don’t have tantrums every day (well when they do they sound a heck of a lot different- and certainly not as cute). They let me use the bathroom and shower alone (thank heavens for all of us) and I can sit down whenever I so choose-slight exaggeration. My house- when I put the effort in- can get really clean. Guess what? I dream now about the crying meltdowns, the lack of privacy, and not having any time to sit alone because I had one (or three) of them on my lap. I long for stepping on Legos in the middle of the night and nearly breaking my leg. I want nothing more than to be up in the wee hours with my sweet baby that just wants to hold my hand or rub my face while they eat……That was the fruit of life and I didn’t quite realize it in that season. In some ways I allowed it to pass me by instead of inhaling every part of it. I crave those moments.
I’m trying to learn a lesson, now, that the younger me didn’t, and appreciate this season of life too. They are bigger but they are vibrant. They are full of knowledge (and apparently, according to them, I lack it these days). Their life is ahead of them. Their wings are starting to spread (so much of me would like to clip them). They have views on the world and life that are their own and it’s beautiful and terrifying! I recognize now that I only get them for a season of their life, to me it's been everything, to them it will be but a stroke on their huge canvas.
I truthfully don’t want to always appreciate this season. I love Little House on the Prairie and the simplicity it represents. The problem is that even when I had it I didn’t recognize it as such. I feel like that can be true for a lot of us. We may be in a season but we don’t really see it- we can’t wait to get out of it instead of embracing it for what it is- LIFE.
I’m learning that no matter what season I’m in, I want to be IN it!! I don’t want to miss a single moment because I'm waiting for the next season to get here. I want to be present, bathe in it and immerse myself so that when I leave that season for the next, I look back and remember the flowers, the sun, the leaves and the snow for what it was- a precious season of life.