I’m standing in a doorway. The doorway that bridges the “I’m losing my mind and drowning in baby, toddler, and little kid life” life and the “enjoy it; it will be over before you know it” life.
And…yes, I did cry in Walmart after my realization.
A young couple with a baby were checking out next to us. The baby was in his seat facing away from us. So awkward, introvert/extrovert, nosy me said, “How old is your baby?” When I saw the sweet, young momma was not highly freaked out by my interest in her child, I then proceeded to ask more questions and dote over his little, handsome face. Then with all the sincerity inside of me I looked at her and said…”Enjoy it.”
How many many times have I written about those who say, “Enjoy it while it lasts.” “It will be over before you know it.” “They aren’t little for long.”?
Every single time I’ve heard that phrase, I’ve fully believed the phrase-sayer. I never ever ever questioned them. It was simply hard to see through the diapers and fits and sleepless nights and nursing while cooking supper (that was later labeled disgusting by a four year old) and the sock fights and the shoe fights (etc., etc., etc.) to even understand that the life stage of the person saying “enjoy it” even existed.
Then tonight as my 9 year old lay in bed teary-eyed because I won’t let her wear a crop top to school because I love her and do not think it’s wise to parade her body around to the world, it hit me again. Enjoy it while it lasts…we are about to enter unknown pre-teen territory. (P.S. Are there not rules banning crop tops in Alva’s elementary school…because my kid thinks everyone is wearing them.)
Let me just say that if you’ve followed my blog for the relatability and the humor over the past few years…I foresee it changing directions and getting a lot weepier in the future as baby/toddler years are slowly exiting the building. I look at these kids like 172 times a day and ache a bit on the inside at the loss of their baby-ness. At the same time I am filled with excitement at the thought of not having to wipe butts and find shoes and get cups and forks and milk and juice and eggs and zip coats and the constant “help me with this, help me with that” that comes with little people.
So I stand in this doorway seeing so many of the joys and struggles that come with each side.
My in-laws (Mimi and Pops) are moving soon and have slowly been bringing up Kyle’s sentimental things. (Yes, he made fun of me for having all of my high school corsages and basketball posters and newspaper clippings [etc.] when we moved awhile back. I purged bags and bags of memories [that needed to be purged]…only to find his sweet and gracious mother had simply been storing his for all these years. And no…I’m not letting him live it down yet and have loved getting to go through it all and see pictures of that sweet, bleach-blonde, wavy haired boy that I had a crush on for years.)
Anyway…as I went through his things, I ran across my new favorite book, The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein (and if you want to buy me a present ever in my life, I’m starting a collection of this author’s work). I need to read it about 12 more times to fully grasp what I think it means, but in the end…it made me feel very very deeply and I highly recommend it.
In the midst of the baby/toddler life, we may be anxiously awaiting the day when our little ones are teenagers and just want to sleep and give us a ten minute (or ten hour) break. And I’m sure the day I am forced to step out of the doorway and fully enter the side awaiting me, I will be wishing I could go back to the day when they constantly needed me, when they stood beside me yelling for milk as I tried to finish writing something, or when they said the cutest things that I never want to forget but (sadly) know I will.
There’s beauty and struggle in it all.
Bye friends. 🙂