Thursday, June 14, 2012


"How are you doing?"

Brian asked me this the other night as we lay in bed.  He was referring to the start of Summer Vacation.  It was too late and no kids were awake so really we should have been sleeping.  But these are the times when it's easiest to reflect on my true feelings.

"Overwhelmed?"  He asked.

No, not overwhelmed.  That's not the right word.

"I feel like I'm missing it all," I said, tears in my eyes.

The first seven months of William's life seemed like an eternity.  Each day was something new, something yet to be discovered.  The first seven months of Katherine's life seems like the blink of an eye.

I'm so busy just trying to make it through the day that I'm worried I'm missing out on the summer when he was five.  The summer when she was three.  And the summer when she was a baby.

My mind is constantly at odds with itself.  I hear my inner voice chanting, this too shall pass.  And then five minutes later I think, whoa children, slow down, no more growing, m'kay?

I want there to be a different kind of time machine.  One where I can fast forward through all the challenging parts and then slow-mo through all the easy, fun parts.

I want her to have a more consistent sleep schedule.  But I want her to stay The Baby.

I want to nurse her forever.  But I don't want to have to make time for it anymore.

I want to trust that she won't run into the street the minute I open the gate.  But I want her to still need to hold my hand.

I want her to pick out her clothes and get dressed all by herself in the morning.  But I still want to laugh when she comes down the stairs with two legs in one hole.

I want him to be old enough to bike to a friend's house all by himself.  But I still want to be his one true love.

I want him to be able to read to himself.  But I still want him to want to be read to.

I want to get dressed, do my hair and put on make-up every single day.  But I also want days of nothing when I can stay in my pajamas all day if that's what I fancy.

I tell myself I will miss these days when they are so little so I'd better soak it up.

But I have to wonder, will I really?

I think back to when Lucy was a baby.  My most challenging baby by far.  And honestly, I don't miss it.  Lucy as a three-year-old is a delight.  I enjoy her company and her conversation.  I no longer dread nighttime with her in my house.  I would never trade then for now.

But does loving three mean I'm going to ache for it when she's four?

Does parenting only get better?  Aged like a fine wine.  Does a season of a total lack of independence just make tomorrow's age that much sweeter?  Or is it just different?  Some prefer whiskey while others choose Scotch.  And do all these references to alcohol mean that maybe overwhelmed is the right word for how I'm feeling?

This is what I'm going to do:

I'll nibble on some chubby baby fingers today and kiss those sweet cheeks.  I'll throw her up in the air to hear that great big belly laugh.  But when she wakes up at 3:00 a.m. for the fifth night in a row, I'm going to be OK with the fact that come morning she'll be another day older.

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