August 27, 2013
Wishing Away and Holding On
When my fresh-from-heaven firstborn introduced me to 3am feedings, I wished I could sleep, even for a mere 5 hours. At first, my sleep deprived mind didn't comprehend the soul-satisfying bond I was missing by the wishing away. By the time my second and third children came along I realized that sleep was overrated. The tender moments shared in the silence of the night were precious seconds that could never be replaced.
When my middle child reached the age of four I wished away the temper tantrums. Yeah, I don't miss them much, but I do miss those sweet little hands with dimpled knuckles holding my face saying "I yuv you, Mommy."
When my girls had trouble staying quiet for little brother to nap, I wished away the noise. Now I would give anything to hear their squeals of laughter and make believe chatter wrapped in pink princess attire.
When eating at a restaurant took a village, I wished away the need for a high chair and cutting up bite-sized finger food before my own turned cold. Restaurant dining is much more enjoyable now that they are old enough to cut their own meat and order their own adult-sized food. But occasionally I miss the sippy cup and cheerio stage. It represents a time when my children were completely dependent upon me. Was it overwhelming? Yes!
I. still. miss. it.
When I took my children to the library I wished away the picture books because I was fearful that my attempts to teach them to be good readers was failing. We read a thousand picture books, but the chapter books were always the "greener pasture." Now we visit the library and I'm the only one who stops by the thin books with beautiful pictures.
I cried the other day when I realized my son no longer takes baths. He didn't announce that he was done with that stage of life. It just simply slipped into the archives of life. I yearn to find superheroes lining my bathtub and pull a pruned boy into a terry cloth towel.
This tilt-a-whirl of motherhood can leave us spinning. Wishing away and holding on at the same time is an oxymoron that lives and breathes. I've done a lot of holding on this summer because our family is stepping into a new phase of life. I'm having to let go and hold onto the sweet memories that my heart aches to relive.
To the sweet momma in the trenches of diapers and whiney afternoons: hold on.
Don't wish away. You will need these sweet memories one day.