I was in line at the grocery store the other day when a lovely elderly woman spoke up from behind me. She nodded in the direction of my kids, then smiled wistfully.

“I wish I could recall just one day when my kids were that little . . . it was so long ago, though, that I’ve all but forgotten.”

I’m pretty sure my heart stopped at that moment.

It never occurred to me a time would come when I might not remember these days.

These days. . . some of them are so long. Some of them threaten to break me. I’m up to my neck in tantrums, and diapers, and precious babies who I love to pieces but who challenge me to no end. Sleep is a lost art that won’t be gifted back to me for quite some time, and exhausted doesn’t even begin to cover how I feel most days.

As overwhelming as this time of life is, I can honestly say that never—not once—had I taken the time to consider that someday this season will all be a very distant memory.

One day, the details of this life might escape my mind. I’ll wrack my brain only to find fuzzy recollections of moments that have all run together. My heart will remember that this time of life was wonderful . . . but that might be all I can recall.

I might forget how bittersweet it is to be so desperately and demandingly needed every hour of every day.

I might forget the way their tiny arms feel wrapped around my neck so tightly, or the tickle of dew left on my cheek from their sweet kisses.

I might forget the way they smell like syrup when I breathe them in on lazy Sunday mornings.

I might forget how contagious their giggles are; the ones that rumble from toe to torso before exploding at their lips.

I might forget the way their tiny voices twist words into the sweetest mispronunciations . . . Heaven forbid I ever forget the way it sounds when they call me “Mama”.

I might forget the warmth of their weight across my chest and the way it feels to have their tiny heartbeats thump right against my own.

I might forget how the little’s eyes look straight to my soul, or how the middle one scrunches his nose when he grins, or how the big one gets that gleam in his eye when he’s up to mischief of one kind or another.

These days—they’re all-consuming and quite frankly, sometimes feel like they’re never, ever, ever, EVER going to end.

But they will.

And I might forget.

Please, Lord, let me appreciate this season while I’m here.

This post originally appeared on Bouncing Forward with Casey Huff

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Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward