“I can’t wait until he sleeps through the night.”
“Things will be better once we’re out of diapers.”
“When will she outgrow the whining?”
Each stage of a child’s life involves frustration, exhaustion, and some wishful thinking (as in “I wish we would move past this stage already”). With my children in two very different stages, I often catch myself thinking along these lines. The younger one cannot fully express herself verbally, and the older one is not quite able to read and understand the instructions for her first-grade homework. I do a lot of interpreting for both.
Yesterday, I received similar advice from two different sources. Both were older parents who have grown children, and both know how quickly kids go from diapers to diplomas. Both said to enjoy the moment because it will soon be gone.
The first piece of advice came from the speaker at my Thursday morning moms’ group. Among other things, she told us to “enjoy each stage of your child’s life.” Hard to enjoy the diaper changes, but I know she’s right. Before I know it, my children will be changing their children’s diapers.
Later in the afternoon, I was on my way to pick up my older daughter from school. I had to stop to get gas. The man on the opposite side of the pump, remarked, “You have a bobble head in there.”
Not fully understanding what he was referring to, I looked inside the car and saw the baby’s head bouncing up and down. “Yes, I do,” I replied. “I’m actually on my way to pick up my other bobble head,” I continued.
“I envy you,” he said.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Because mine are your size now.”
The conversation ended with a comment about my standing at a gas pump someday in the future having the same conversation with another stranger.
As I write this, my kids are having their afternoon snack. One is adept at using a spoon, and the other is shoving fistfuls of puffs into her mouth all at once. They are each trying to attract my attention in their own unique ways, the baby shaking her head back and forth and laughing and the older one pretending to lap up the milk from her bowl like a cat. (“Look, Mommy, I’m a cat. Oops, I littered in my litter box.”)
I stopped typing for a moment to look at my children. They both smiled at me. I wish I could hold on to that moment forever.