I guess I’m more of a pragmatic realist, or I’m crazy, but I don’t really subscribe to that philosophy that kids “grow up so fast. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.” Scientifically, I get it. They start as a pile of cells and BAM, 9 months later, they are 8lbs of little person that dramatically change your life forever.
Yes, kids grow. That’s what they do. I have to blink. Instead of an abstract pressure upon myself to not miss something, I try to appreciate the fullness of each day: the good, the bad, the ugly, the profoundly cute and indescribable depth of love that is parenthood; the continual challenge to selflessly pour yourself out to meet another need when you are so bone deep tired….can you possibly be patient one more time? Yes, you can.
Along these lines of thought, I have a growing list of things I just love during this season of life, of having two little kids, working, growing with a marriage that all gets better over time. These are very simple things, not often celebrated, you won’t find a card in the Hallmark section for these, but to me, they are unique and priceless.
1) Pudgy toddler hands and feet. I’m not sure what the cut off age is that these appendages stop being cute, but I’ve seen hands and feet on a toddler and I have seen hands and feet on an elementary school kid. They are so much cuter on a toddler.
2) The ditziness that comes with mothering two small children. Oh, I have had doozies. Here are my top three occasions where it became pretty clear that I was sleep deprived and sort of hanging on by a thread:
a) The time I walked into a room and said, “wow! I have a baby that looks just like that” to a friend who was holding our youngest. She politely leaned over and said, “this is your baby.” RIGHT.
b) The time I went for my annual check up and the nurse asked me when our son was born and I couldn’t remember the exact day, I gave her a range…”you know, about a year ago, middle of March.” I felt embarrassed and worried that she may subscribe further psychological testing. She reassured me “no problem, honey, I have a tough time remembering if my youngest was born in 95 or 96.” Apparently I am in good company.
c) In the midst of an Easter egg hunt this year, I interrupted my girlfriend with an abrupt, “sorry to interrupt, I have to make sure I know where my youngest is…oh, look, I’m holding him.” To which she gave me tremendous encouragement that “she liked hanging out with me because there was no pressure to have it all together.” Clearly, I abandoned that goal a long time ago.
“Didn’t I ask you to please leave Mommy alone?” My husbands voice just rang through the bathroom door where, in a small space, contained myself, my laptop, and our two children, checking out what Mommy was doing in her office, er bathroom.
Yes, these are rich times indeed.