Sitting here holding the little girl who I think is our last baby against my chest, kissing the soft hair on the top of her head, and breathing in her newborn smell, I am willing time to slow down. I want to stay here for a little bit longer in these sleepy newborn days. I want to remember every little detail. I want to enjoy and treasure it all.
Fourth time around I know that time goes in the blink of an eye. In what seems like no time at all she will be toddling around, her baby days behind her. Even the hard parts seem easier this time. The sleepless nights are not so bad. I know how fleeting it is so I cherish even being woken from sleep to have some more time with her. So for now, time, please slow down. Give me time to etch her newness in my memory, so I can keep it safe forever. So I can remember always those days when she slept on my chest and her little life depended solely on me.
When you have your first baby you are so eager to see what comes next. You can’t wait to see them grow and learn new things! It’s so exciting, of course. You’re just waiting for each new thing. Sometimes you’re so concentrated on them growing up that you forget to enjoy the present and what they can do right now. You can’t wait to see the next thing. To see them take their first steps, forgetting that that also means it will be the last time you see them crawl. This time, I’m painfully aware of that fact, of all the ‘last times’. This time, I can wait.
I can wait to see you roll over. I can wait to see you sit up. I can wait to see you taste your first food. I can wait to see you take your first steps. I can wait to hear your little voice say ‘mum mum’ for the first time. I can wait. It will all be so exciting of course, but I can wait. I am enjoying who you are now and soaking up every moment.
And if I can wait for you, I can wait for all of you. Even my fourth baby is still teaching me new things. In trying to savor every moment and not rush through things with her, I am reminded to do the same with my older girls. Just because I will be able to experience the same things again with their younger sisters doesn’t mean I should take it for granted. Each child is unique and each day of their life will never come again.
Sometimes in the midst of hectic life with four children we are just trying to make it through. We don’t stop to notice the small things, we count on having plenty of time to do that ‘later’. But what good is later? And what if it never comes? I want to experience life now. I want to treasure every moment the same as I would if I knew it was the last time I would see it. I want to take that feeling of holding my last baby in my arms and committing every moment to memory, and apply it to all of my children, and all of my life. I want to take the time to notice and marvel at everything I can.
There’s not always time. When I’m feeding the baby and the toddler is crying and the big kids are complaining that they want food, well I’m not really cherishing those moments. I’m just trying to make it through them, and quickly! But as much as I possibly can I’m going to slow down. I’m going to live my life and experience it fully. I’m going to be present.
The future is so exciting, but so is the present moment! I’m not going to rush my children through their childhood, concentrating solely on what’s coming next. I won’t wish any time away. I’m going to enjoy the now and all it has to offer me. Because that’s all we really have isn’t it? The past is gone and the future is yet to come. All we have is now. I’m going to make the most of it.