soak it up. soak it all up.

Moms, these days are fleeting.
Like them or not, relish the moments or wish they'd go faster, they're goin'. 
I have days where I constantly feel myself thinking, "just a few more hours!" and days where I'm literally wondering if God is playing tricks on me and slowing the clock down until bedtime. Like, I'm convinced on those days that the hour literally took 2 hours and someone is laughing at me as I climb a never ending cliff, trying to find the top. 
Lately though, I've been feeling a little bit of both in the same day. 
I love getting up and starting the day with my kids. I love breakfast time and usually make a meal that's probably over kill, but its my favorite meal of the day, so my kids have to deal with it ;-) 
I love going on our morning walk. Sometimes we walk to a destination, but usually we just wander and talk and pick flowers and sing. 
But there's this moment I face lately, in almost each day, where I'm done. My head hurts, I can't hold anything more in my brain, if someone comes to me and says "mommy?!" I feel like dashing for the front door and gettin' out of here so fast. Nap time becomes my most cherished time of the day and doing dishes in peace and quiet actually feels like a mini vacation. 
Outdoor play is my most favorite subject. Its the reason I think I fell in love with our new house. Just under half an acre AND a pool?! Yes please, sign me up! 
And then when you throw in things like, getting dinner prepped and served hot for everyone to enjoy? That's enough to turn me into a person who juices. Okay, not quite. 
But with all the crazy and exhaustion and the "I have to get out of here for just a few minutes to hear myself think!" feelings, its slipping by.
These days where everyone needs you for something and no one knows how to solve problems or conflicts on their own... they're gonna vanish. I have a feeling when we're older and our kids are grown and gone we're going to actually enjoy the phone calls where they need advice. We're going to welcome those long talks where hard stuff needs to be said. We're going to wish they could be little cute things again. And I know for myself, I'm gonna be that annoying old lady at the store telling all the new moms how fast those incredibly exhausting baby days really DO go by. 

My 9 1/2 year old son is pretty quiet. He has his moments where he acts like he's 2 and riles everyone in the house up and I'm like, "wow, thanks for that, dude. Just what I needed from my oldest child" but for the most part he's quiet. He likes quiet play and loves to read and most of all, adores being outside. He's not my clingy, whiny, constantly needing me child. At all. And for the most part, I appreciate it. Because I know God's wisdom is perfect and I can see exactly why he made Ethan the way he is. 
But in the evening, when the house is quiet and I sit back and wonder which child I didn't hug enough. When I go over all the ways I probably failed that day {we all do it, ladies, not just you} 
when I wonder how many opportunities I squandered because I thought it was more important to text a friend, or do some chores, or distract myself with something.... its in those moments he usually comes into my room in his pj's, climbs up on my bed and says "hi, Mommy. Wanna talk?" I love those moments. 
We lay down together and talk. Sometimes I hear ridiculous jokes that he and his friends shared with each other {I don't usually think they're even funny, but I remember the lame joke telling days all too well, so I humor him}, he usually talks about what he read that day and what he thought about the stories; how he'd change them or ways he thought they'd end and they didn't.
He always asks to hear a story about when I was little. He thinks my childhood was pretty hilarious and gets a kick out of the crazy things I did. I will never forget the first time I let him read from one of my journals. I had written in it when I was 15 and I shared a page with Ethan. Mostly to show him the things I struggled with as a teen and the ways I had to lean on Jesus when I had no clue what the outcome would be. He read the page and then looked at me and said, "I can totally see why Daddy married you." Heart-melting-soul-refreshing moment. I got all choked up and thanked him for his sweetness and I remember thinking "Lord, please help me never forget these days." 
I pray that because during so many parts of the day I battle feelings of wishing they could just be grown up. Or wishing I could be on vacation and not in the daily mundane of routine. 

When I read blogs about parents who've lost a child I realize how badly those parents want the tiring, repetitive, crazy moments back. They'd take them in a heart beat. 
When Miles fell last year and fractured his skull, I remember laying my hands on him while he slept in the hospital bed and praying "God, please heal him! Make him a strong, adventurous, crazy-at-heart boy who's not afraid to try new things and pushes himself to be braver." Yeah... I don't know what I was thinking ;-) 
But in all seriousness, it was in that moment of worrying he'd be injured in ways he could never heal from, I suddenly begged God to give me a boy that never gave me a moment's rest. It that moment I knew what good health and being alive and full of life looked like. 

Sometimes being content with the blessings is hard. 
Being thankful for what we think is owed to us can be difficult. 
And as we start this new school year and slowly approach Fall, I'm learning (again) how important it is to not over schedule our lives. When a million other things become so important in our lives that our family and home life becomes the stress? That's when I know its time to say no and simplify life. 
Jason and I deleted Facebook for a million reasons but that was a big one. It was just another distraction that pulled us (even for a few minutes here and there) away from our family. Away from what was really important. It was always there, ready to distract us and sometimes I felt jipped if I had a day where the kids demanded so much of me that I wasn't able to "hang out" on Facebook for a bit. 
I think the real lesson is learning that it can be anything. Distractions are everywhere, especially nowadays. 
And don't misunderstand me.... Time away and time alone and kidless hours are awesome and much needed. But I hope you don't spend your days wishing these days would be gone. Because soon enough, they will be. And we'll have plenty of time to sit around wishing we could go back and do it better. 
I have so many days where I forget to enjoy my kids. So many days where I forget they are kids and I spend the day wishing they could be adults. How boring life would be if there were no kids?! I don't even want to think about that.  
My brother is here visiting from Japan. I don't get to see him too often and when I do, I have to walk myself through the shock of him being 28 years old. In my head, he's Ethan's age still. 
Last night he was watching me play with Miles and he told me, "you always loved being a kid." Its true... I did. 
I look back on my childhood with a lot of fondness. It felt too short and you never get it back. Let your kids be kids and maybe sometimes be a big kid with them. I doubt we'll get older and regret those moment ;-) 

Learn from the passed, be IN the present and look to the future with hope. 

2 {comments}:

Gina said...

Love it! Love that I'm in the trenches with you, love the reflection, love the sage advice, love the last line. The seasons are long but the days are short. So blessed we are to have them. <3

Stef said...

love you, Gina! So thankful for you


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