Thursday, October 23, 2014
She's Only 10 Months Old Once
The husband and I sat on the couch last night and recounted our already long but not yet done week. The days... the days are so long. To all you mama's who've been doing these long days for years, I tip my hat to you. They are no joke. We are both drained and exhausted by 8:00. Then yesterday I had one of those encounters with an older mom who's youngest just flew the nest. You know what's coming. I knew what was coming. The ol' "I wish I would have enjoyed it more..." She was so kind and honestly wasn't trying to preach. I felt that she really meant it, that she wished she would have enjoyed it more. My response was something like, I try to enjoy the good moments but you know, some days are just hard. She smiled and nodded. This topic has been pounded into the ground and many horses have been beaten to death over this discussion of the older moms wistfully telling us harried, barely-keeping-it-together younger moms to 'just enjoy it, it goes so fast.' I think we all know the truth--the universal truths that joy and hardship can coexist in the same day, even the same moment, that hindsight is 20/20 and that you can't teach an old mom new tricks. That last one's a little iffy, but I think you understand what I'm saying. Additionally there are the individual truths of our own circumstances--for some motherhood comes more naturally than others and perhaps that joy is more easily found. For some there are battles with depression, finances, a spouse--or lack thereof, special needs, and special circumstances. So I'm not going to rewrite the book on this one. Hard days are hard, and I think we all search for the joys in our own ways and find the sparkles amid the dust.
For me, my gentle reminder lately has been she's only 10 months old once. Then she's only 10 months old and 1 day once. And so on. When you think about it, it's a little crazy that we are only a specific age one time and that's it... it's gone forever. I mean there will never be another October 23, 2014 ever again. That's crazy right?
Of course I could also say the same about my 4 year old and 7 year old--they'll only be this age once--but right now it's all about the ever changing baby who just last week couldn't pull herself up, but as of a few days ago is pulling herself up on any and everything. And so I stop and snap some photos of Baby Zuzu climbing onto her big sisters toddler bed and watch--without rushing in to help--as she confidently makes it to the top of the bed, sits up and claps. A few seconds later she sits her booty down right on the edge and promptly falls over backwards totally unfazed since the bed sits so low. And she tries again. And I let her fall. Better to learn on a low bed when the stakes are small I say.
I am not going to remember anything else that happened yesterday on October 22, 2014. But if I go to the archives of my blog (which hopefully I'll still have) I will see this post and these pictures and remember a sweet little baby who was 1 day shy of being 10 months old. And I will see proof of a moment I enjoyed. The whole day? Probably not. But this moment I savored, watched and observed. And that is a gold star in my mom book right there if you ask me.
And last week, when I had a sick baby on my hands I tried to find the sweetness amid the sickness. Like a baby who still manages a half how-big-are-you? smiles and all, even though you can see the sickness in her eyes. Sweet baby girl.
And while I normally just give her a bottle before naps and bedtime, having a sick baby forced me to slow down and rock her before bed, something I've now continued because she's only 10 months old once. And these are the prime cuddle hours people... I cannot get cuddles like this any other time, so I am going to get 'em while they're hot.
Anyway, that's my mantra lately. Hasn't always worked, won't always work in the future, but it works right now.
Anyone else have a mantra to get you through a rough day, week or even a particularly rough period of your life? What are you tips for slowing down and enjoying the phase of life you're in? Because that's the other thing, no matter what phase of life you're in I think you should enjoy the gifts that particular phase of life has to offer! If you're single enjoy the benefits that only come from being single. If you're married without kids, enjoy the benefits that come with being married without kids. Same goes for having kids and all the stages of their childhood. AND if you're a new empty nester, try to enjoy the benefits that come with that phase as well! Thoughts?