When my oldest two were a toddler and newborn people often took the liberty to share the classic mom line, “Don’t blink. You’ll miss it.” I thought they were crazy. Quite frankly when juice was spilled for the millionth time, cheerios were crushed on the floor, diapers were removed by tiny fingers in the crib, and overly tired little people turned into crying bears I wanted to miss it. Don’t get me wrong. I loved my time with my children but I yearned for less mess and more normalcy.
They continued to grow and we excitedly welcomed girl number three into our home. Or, in other words, more of the same crazy sleep schedules and untidiness. Obviously it wasn’t all the time but it is a normal phase of motherhood that can’t be pretended away. Children aren’t born into the world neat little individuals with particular concern for keeping life tidy and parents happy.
Stretched, I learned to breathe through it and even laugh at the disarray.
Tonight girl number two has her kindergarten back to school night. First day of school clothes are picked and supplies are properly labeled in their new backpacks. Next week we’ll take part in a back to school ceremony and the educational schedule will be back in full swing.
And I find myself feeling a big lesson before they even enter the classroom.
Before I know it this new season will be a season passed and both of my girls will come running into the pick up line waving a white envelope telling them who their next year’s teacher will be.
Last year I stood in that kindergarten circle teary. Somehow Grace’s first day of school dress to this second to last week of school moment came too quickly and I realized how being part of an academic calendar marked out my time as a full time mama.
Eighteen time increments like this and she’ll be gone.
Someone stop the clock! Because in the midst of the chaos of raising children and living life I am loving painting nails, and watching them at dance class, and volunteering in their classroom, and reading together, and making food in the kitchen together, and having family movie night, and worshiping in the same space, and snuggling, and chatting, and laughing, and the list goes on. I don’t want to miss it. Not any phase. Spilled juice, crushed cheerios, and all.
Because time is precious and each day is filled with a million priceless moments.
So, moms out there feeling like life is a circus, know that your feelings are natural but embrace the moment to moment journey. I’m guessing once we get to the less mess and more normalcy phase of life again we’ll find it quiet and, dare I say it, overrated.