My children will both be at preschool in just a few short months, and it’s making me a little nostalgic.

As I danced around with them today to some of their favorite songs, I found myself almost in tears. Tears I can’t quite explain. 

I’m realizing, more than ever lately, what a fleeting chapter in my life their childhood is, and how it’s all already moving along far too quickly. 

Life has been so busy since my children were born that I’ve hardly stopped to smell the roses, roses that are ever so quickly changing to rose hips. Soon I fear it will be too late to smell their beautiful fragrance. There will be more roses, of course, but this particular season is ending. 

I’ve been so caught up in the changes that motherhood brings. It’s such an entire upheaval of one’s life, and sometimes I’m afraid I’ve missed a lot of the beauty, the blessings, even though it’s all been right in front of me, growing day by day. 

So many of the early days of motherhood are tough and challenging. There are so many sleepless nights, there is so much literal exhaustion. This exhaustion has become a cloud through which I see my family, fogging my mind and making it too easy for me to forget that this chapter won’t last long. 

The baby days are already far behind us, and sometimes I worry I didn’t relish in those days enough, because so much of the time I was too tired, too weary, too “mommed-out”. 

Soon enough, they won’t want to dance around and sing kids songs with me. They’ll move past the days of Incy Wincy Spider and Five Little Monkeys. Their interests will continue changing year by year, and eventually I won’t be the center of their world anymore. 

No matter what we do as mothers, it seems we always find ourselves wishing we’d done more. Our children won’t remember this time very much in the years to come, but we will. 

I thought the fog of early motherhood had cleared once the children started sleeping through the night, once they started walking and talking. I thought I’d started to see things clearly then. But time has moved on while still I sat in this fog, and it’s only now that I see the sun shining through in beams that I find myself shocked by what I see before me in the light. 

I see two independent people. They can do everything themselves (or so they think. They really can do an awful lot). 

I see two intelligent people. They are learning and developing new skills every day in remarkable ways. 

I see two resilient people. They never give up. They try and try and they try some more, until they achieve their goals, whether that is mastering the letter shapes or building the perfect sandcastle. 

I see two people whose thoughts know no limits. To them, anything is possible. My son plans to build a rocket when he grows up, which he then intends to fly to the moon. Who is to say he won’t?

I see two people with positive thoughts. Children have such happy minds. We adults could really learn a few things from them. 

I see my little babies, already so grown up. 

Is it really possible that could be the same baby who nestled snugly into my chest, who was like a tiny caterpillar wrapped in his blanket? I can hardly believe it. 

Motherhood has given me a combination of my hardest days and my best days, but the beauty in this early season of motherhood outweighs the hardest of days a million times. 

Motherhood has taught me more about myself, and about life, than anything else I’ve ever done. I love being a mother.

All day, I’m blessed to hear the thoughts of small children. Their natural wonder fills my heart to the brim with true happiness. 

“Butterfly, you can share! Come back!” Says my daughter, while eating her fruit. 

I’ve lost count of how many flowers the children give me, on a daily basis.

I’m going to miss their childhood innocence, the beauty of their thoughts. 

I’ll always be their mother, but I’m pushing it to keep calling them “my babies”. 

“I am not a baby!” My four-year-old son will frown if he overhears me say that.

Whether he likes it or not though, in my heart I know they were once my babies, and that they always will be. 

“The days are long but the years are short.”

Oh boy. Don’t we all just know it. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

Jess Hunt

Jess Hunt is a freelance writer and mother of two young children, who lives in a country town in Australia. She writes all about her thoughts and ideas on parenting at her blog Totally Motherhood  and you can find her on Facebook and Instagram