When I Want To Pause Time
Last night we were going about our regular night time routine. Bath for our toddler, read them books, nurse baby to sleep, lay with toddler until she falls asleep. And as she lay there with her hand gently resting on my neck, I realized something. That this was her new going to sleep habit, the old one was gone. And it’s kind of silly, but tears filled my eyes because it’s just another thing that has changed and ended. Before, she used to play with my earrings as she fell asleep. And she did this every night for almost a year. Sometimes it it used to irritate me so much because she’d pull on the stud or twirl it around and around when all I wanted her to do was go to sleep; and other times I was fine with it, just content to be that close to her until her little fingers stopped their motion and she would drift off.
And I have to admit, when I realized this, I asked her “Sweetie, do you want to play with Mama’s earrings?” and moved her hand away from my neck to my ear, and she moved it straight back to my neck. Just like that. Earring phase? Gone. Over. And what guts me, is that I can’t remember the last time she did that. I wish I would have known it was the last time, and hopefully I would have tried to soak it in and cherish it. Which is so silly, because in the grand scheme of things, it’s not even that big of a deal, but to me it is because it’s yet another phase that had passed. I’m a little embarrassed to admit, but all of these future “last times” almost haunt me. When will it be the last time that she holds my hand while walking to the car? When will it be the last time my baby tries to root on any & every piece of fabric? But as my mom will remind me “they have every right to grow up”. And so it’s bittersweet, watching my toddler and baby grow up and leave these phases and start new ones. But for now, I want to remember:
– The way that my toddler reaches her arms out to me saying “Hold me Mama, hold me”.
– How my baby will smile a huge gummy ear to ear smile every time I smile and talk to him.
– The way my toddler can fall asleep in my arms with her head on my shoulder like its the most comfortable thing in the world.
– When my baby squeals so happily & drools when I gently lift him into the air.
– How my toddler sings songs in the car and makes some up on her own, and they can be so funny and sweet.
– The way my baby tries to gum his feet and smiles the entire time while doing so.
– When my toddler wakes up from a nap and talks about the most random things that pop into her head.
– How my baby clutches my shirt when he nurses or falls asleep in my arms, like he wants to make sure that I won’t set him down.
– The way my toddler likes to walk our dog around our house with his leash on, and talks to him the entire time.
– When my baby sticks out his bottom lip and his eyebrows draw together in a sad little worried way if he’s tired or fussy.
– The way both of my children like to cuddle up next to me in the early morning, one head on each of my shoulders as we lay in bed under the covers.
And much, much more.
There are some days where I just want to fast forward time to when my baby is sleeping through the night, or when my toddler is no longer having tantrums. But there are also days like today, where I wish there was a pause button on time, because it is moving just too fast for my heart to take. Days like today where I see how independent my toddler is, or how fast my baby is growing and I can’t help but think “Please, stay little just a bit longer. I’m not ready for this time to change just yet”. I look at videos of when my toddler was a baby and it seems like that time was a decade ago, instead of just over a year or so.
So I will just enjoy these phases that we are in, and nostalgically remember the phases that have passed. And I’ll make more of a concerted effort to write these phases in my journal, because I really do want to remember them; even the ones that drive me up the wall. Because there will be a last time for all of these, and I won’t know it is the last time until it is gone. And when my toddler is singing the same song repeatedly, I’ll try to commit that moment to memory instead of wishing she’d sing another song. And when my baby just wants to nurse all day, I’ll try to soak that in too, because I know firsthand how truly heartbreaking it can be to miss that bond of breastfeeding. And even with all of my efforts to remember everything, I know the day will come where I’ll turn around and realize that my babies have all grown up; so for now I’ll just live in the present and enjoy this sweet and challenging, fun and trying, beautiful and hard time in our lives.