If I could turn back time...

The other day, after a sleep deprived night and a run-in with a book-shelf, Finny came crying to me for comfort. I was coming out of the bathroom at the time and met him on the stairs. I sat down and cradled him and wiped his tears. Immediately, he assumed the position, screwed his eyes shut and tried to appear as though he was an infant deep in slumber. It occurred to me that this was not a half bad idea so I played along, picked him up and carried him to my bedroom where I lay him on the bed, and snuggled in beside him.

The sheets were cool and the room was peaceful. As we lay together breathing in unison, his breath soon slowed down and I realized that he was genuinely fast asleep.

With his little hand clasped around mine, his other arm draped possessively around my waist, his cherubic face snuggled into my shoulder, I was situated perfectly to breathe in the smell of his hair. A while ago I stockpiled the discontinued baby shampoo I used to wash him with as a baby (it's almost all gone now :( and for a moment, I was transported to when he was six months old, when we would take those delicious and much needed afternoon naps together each day. Is there anything more peaceful then watching a sleeping baby? Well yes, there is, and it's sleeping next to a sleeping baby. I felt like I was given the gift of going back in time for just a few minutes to experience one of the exquisite perks that come with the exhaustion of raising babies and toddlers.

Today I wished I could stop time. My boys and I went for a run on the school track while the other two played on the playground. Then we lay on the grass and just talked. After a while, we walked home chatting about nothing in particular, Finny's little hand clasped in mine, everyone with dusty feet and dirty shins. I love dusty feet and dirty shins on children. It occurred to me that I was in heaven. I feel so blessed to be able to hang out with my children like this on an everyday Thursday. I do not take it for granted. Not every moment is bliss to be sure, but there are enough of them to make it feel as though I am exceptionally blessed. I have said for the last few years that I feel as though we are in the golden age of parenting. Out of the rigours of raising the tiny little tyrants, not yet experiencing the trauma of teenage-hood.

But even as I write that, I realize that I have felt as though I wanted to freeze time at pretty much every stage along the way (bar one or two brushes with insanity). Since having my first child almost eleven years ago, I have been in a suspended state of agony/ecstasy. I am always entranced with how cute they are, with how amazing their new accomplishments are as they grow, and at the same time equally pained at knowing how temporary it all is. I think the sense of this is heightened by being so far away from family and mourning each stage that they have missed. *sobs* I know how quickly time slips away, how quickly the little person of today becomes the not quite as little person of tomorrow, and I am hungry to absorb every experience, every change and discovery along the way. I am a disaster if I don't get some quiet "me" time very regularly but I am also often resentful if other responsibilities rob me of time with my kids, even though I am so fortunate to have so much time with them. So often I feel a great pang when I watch them walking to school, knowing I will not be a part of their day, that there is already a part of their lives which doesn't include me. I miss them when they are gone and really I just, in the immortal words of Aerosmith, don't wanna miss a thing.

In many ways it seems to get better and better, but for sure there are things you lose along the way. Sooner all later all my kids will be too big for me to cradle and carry to bed for a nap, sooner or later nobody will want to hold my hand....*sobs* There may be stages when nobody wants to lay in the grass chatting with me or would prefer not to be seen strolling down the street with me in all my sweaty glory.

But in time the conversations will become deeper and even more meaningful too, the experiences we can have together will be enriching to us all in a different way, and.... there will always be grandchildren. I realize now why they are are such a sought after commodity. Grandchildren! I so look forward to grandchildren! All the perks, none of the poop...Ah, I can hardly wait.

Motherhood, there is no emotional roller-coaster like it. Generally, I am no fan of roller-coasters, but this is a thrill ride that I have loved well...not every minute of... but more minutes of then not. That I know for sure.

Now I'm off to tear out my hair over who left the bathroom light on again and rant over the cereal bowl left on the table, and loudly despair that no matter how many dirty socks I pick up, I will always find another grubby one in someplace other then the hamper, and wonder why no matter how much I rant, and rage, and threaten and beg, and plead, and cajole and guilt...NOTHING. EVER. CHANGES.

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10 comments:

Horrible Sanity said...

Fantastic post! Whenever I wrote blog posts about my son, I cry. Seriously. I can't even depict the love I have for him. He sleeps with me every night and has since birth. I could pick his smell out of a million children even if I was blindfolded. :)

RaisingOlives said...

You took me back with the sleeping with a little one, smelling their wonderful hair.

I also enjoy the dirty shins and dusty feet. Great post. I want to freeze time, but also can't wait for the next stage. God is truly good to us.

Blessings,
Kimberly

Jen said...

This was such a good one - and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the last paragraph, it makes me feel not so alone in this journey!

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

There is nothing better than relaxing and holding a sleeping baby - I love it on my chest. My 6 year old still snuggles, and I never think about the day when she won't. I love this post and feel so much more in love with my kiddos.

Mommy Dear said...

Oh sobs. I am so with you...

nyn said...

As always you captured what I feel many days about motherhood. Although I think to often I shoo them off to play when I should be pulling them closer so they won't grow away from me. Thank you for the good reminder. I will remember to cherish the moments I have, they truly slip away to quickly.

Julie said...

What a lovely post! It pretty much says it all about motherhood.

paparazzimom said...

thanks for making me cry! I couldn't agree more with every word you wrote.

Anonymous said...

I just glory in your joy of motherhood! So glad you love it so. Boo hoo about my chance to relive it being so far away! Grateful for your blog and paparazzi tendencies and gifts. It makes it almost as good as the real thing.
Love you.
Marmie.

Amie said...

I remember when my girls were 1 and 4 (now 6 & 9) and I asked a friend who's children were the ages of mine now - don't you miss this baby state? She answered how much more fun it was for them right then! As much as I loved those early years - she's right. Hopefully we continue to create memories and enthusiastically enjoy the ages and stages we're in. Thanks for sharing!