The dictionary defines this as the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. As a parent, I define it as ever elusive moments I try to capture in my mind to remember what was, what is and what is to come.
After being stuck in a vortex of sameness over the past year, it is even more apparent to me how quickly time flies by and stands still all in an instant.
Grow up already, but don’t:
I oscillate between wanting my kids to hurry up and get to the next age while trying to keep them in the stage they are now in at every turn. I miss the times when they needed my help to accomplish basic tasks. But, I also revel in how much they can accomplish on their own. I imagine every parent experiences this tug of emotions knowing what an important role we have played in helping to create these magical humans.
Now that my kids are not home every hour of the day, I find myself frozen when one of them walks into the room. I cannot help but stop and stare. They are tall. Their facial features are more defined. Somehow their clothes always seem too small. When my tween daughter is snuggled on the couch with me, I notice this most. She lays on my chest with her feet stretched out as far as mine. I can’t believe this human used to fit in the crook of my arm. How can she already be approaching double digits? How do I make time stop!
We all know the daily ‘to-do’s of keeping kids alive, well-fed, and in clean clothes can feel like a never-ending slog. When my list starts to pile up, I stop, breathe, and ask myself, “Does this matter right now?” My answer is often, “Nope.” Once I give myself permission to stop checking everything off my list, I look around and try to jump into the fun.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not great at doing this, but I’m working to remember the small moments’ count. After being isolated and stuck, unable to do so many things for an extended period I try to say, “Yes!” when I can. The snuggles, the laughter, and the little flashes of joy are what really matter. I also try to spend a few minutes each day being grateful for these opportunities because they are what make me most happy.
It is my daily reminder to stay present with my kids.
Time will not stand still for anyone. Make space to enjoy the stage your child is in now. Don’t miss out on the good stuff because time will not give you those moments back. Tomorrow you will both be different people than you are today!