My friend posted about her daughter’s fifth birthday the other day and wrote this in her facebook status: “Time is a vapor, friends. Enjoy it. It's flying by”. As I read her words, I listened to my almost three year old son chattering away with his big sister in full sentences and thought about how often these days he says, “I do myself, mommy!”
Then, I saw my just-turned-four-years-old-going-on-fourteen daughter dancing through the living room singing to the beat of her own drum. She is learning to write her ABC’s, knows how to pick out the perfect outfit for the day, and surprises me with how well she can carry on a conversation with me or my husband.
And wasn’t it just yesterday that I first held them in my arms?
I call them my babies, but, really, they are far from the helpless newborn babes I cradled in my arms and rocked to sleep night after night. As my facebook wall is flooded with back to school photos, I realize that this time next year we will be sending our oldest off to kindergarten...and before we know it her daddy will be walking her down the aisle into the arms of a man she will one day call husband.
I find myself stumbling through another busy day when all I want to do is plead with time to slow down for just one moment more. How do you slow down the vapor of time and take captive every single moment before it’s gone?
We are each given a mission, a purpose, a calling in life. Children are a gift and moms are called to love, cherish, nurture, and provide for these little ones while gently nudging them to spread their wings and one day soar on their own. Embrace this calling, because it is beautiful and to be treasured.
The dishes may be piled high, the laundry may be cycling through the wash for the third time in a row, and five o’clock may roll around with absolutely no dinner plans already in place, but if your children are content in your love that is what matters.
And, really, the dishes, laundry, and endless to do lists will be there tomorrow, but your children may not. Time keeps moving forward and one day the little one tugging on your pants while you attempt to fold the same shirt for the tenth time this morning will be an adult. The house will be quiet again, but you will miss the noise and chaos of a childhood gone by too soon.
The sound of my son’s sweet little voice singing Jesus Loves Me drifts my way. I’ve sung this song to him since birth and still I am amazed at how well he knows every single word so clearly. I still picture him in my dreams as the son who arrived three weeks early with lungs that weren’t quite ready to breathe in this world. And yet, there he is, singing loud and clear a song that melts my heart.
In just one month, our littlest peanut is due to arrive. Newborn onesies, sleepers, hats, booties, and swaddle blankets are gently washed and carefully folding waiting for his arrival. I find myself reminiscing about how quickly my oldest two swept through the newborn stages right into childhood.
This time I want to slow down time more, to embrace each little moment, captured not just in photos and blog posts and facebook statuses, but in my memory of moments disconnected from technology where I am fully present in the here and now. When his hunger cries force me to stop what I’m doing immediately, I will scoop him up with a smile and watch every smile and study every wrinkle and roll in his tiny little body.
Because time really is a vapor and one year really does fly by. So embrace it, enjoy it, cherish it, treasure it. Babies really don’t keep, so rock that little one to sleep a little longer, laugh and sing along with just one more silly song, hug him a little tighter, hold her a little closer, and give every single moment all you’ve got.