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There’s no way, I thought to myself.

I had spent the afternoon washing, drying, and folding the teensy clothing gifted to us at our baby shower. Sweet little zip-up jammies were tucked neatly into drawers. Itty-bitty pants were folded by fingertips. Tiny hangers hung even tinier shirts in the closet.

Then, I spotted it.

There at the bottom of the laundry basket lay a size 12-month football onesie, clad with white embroidered laces on either side of the zipper. After hours of organizing tiny newborn clothes, the size of it was almost laughable. I remember thinking there’s no way he’ll ever be that big. Of course, logically, I knew that wasn’t true. Still, any rationality of time seemed to be tucked away with those freshly laundered newborn clothes.

And indeed, he was wearing that very onesie in the blink of an eye. His sweet baby belly pressed out against those embroidered laces like a faux football, his limbs stretched through the once-laughably long fabric. 

Almost eight years later, I find myself wondering how the boy that could once fit in the palms of my hands is now nearing the height of my shoulders. It seems inconceivable. Yet, sometimes I think I’m the one causing time to accelerate at a dizzying speed. Because if I’m being honest, I’m always rushing.

RELATED: When the Hurry Becomes Too Hectic, Become the Mom Who Slows Life Down

I don’t mean to, but I get swept up in the current of daily life. The to-dos, be-heres, and go-theres—while my kids just want to float happily along. All too often, I find myself pulling them out of their slow intentionality and into my hurried efficiency.    

When my son runs out into the driveway to catch falling raindrops on his tongue, “Please get in the car!”  

When my daughter walks gingerly along a parking lot curb at the grocery store,
“We’ve got to go!”

When my son carefully makes his way across the kitchen tile to avoid the imaginary lava cracks, “Get your shoes on!”

When my daughter dances around the living room in her pajamas before bedtime, “Please brush your teeth!”  

And at the end of the day, when they’re tucked snuggly into their beds and fast asleep, I trace their faces for any lasting remnants of babyhood, begging the sands of time to slow down. All while I’m the one who’s been shaking the hourglass all day long.

My heart breaks thinking about all the times I’ve snatched them out of their unhurried delight and into my pointless frenzy. How many times have I shown them that productivity is valued over presence? What precious moments have I missed out on in the name of checking off boxes? 

Our culture reveres busyness. It relishes hustle and delights in full schedules. I’ve subscribed to that way of living my entire life and paid a steep price for it with my presence, peace, and joy.

RELATED: The Secret to Slowing Down Time Is to Notice the Moments You’re Living In

That’s the trade-off. When your eyes are fixed in a forward position, always looking to the next thing, it’s impossible to behold the fleetingly precious beauty that surrounds you. But when the present is pursued with intentionality, joy is always found. It’s a law as sure as gravity. Kids know it well, and I refuse to continue to live in a way that tries to convince them otherwise.

So now, I follow their lead.

When a bunny hops across our backyard, I run to the window too.  

When a tiny tornado forms in the bathtub drain, I ooh and aah over it too.

When the floor becomes lava, I jump onto the nearest piece of furniture too.  

When their favorite song comes on after dinner, I dance in the kitchen too.  

I’m putting the hourglass down—the one with my fingerprints all over it—and watching every grain of sand fall . . . because nothing is more important than the here and now.

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So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Alyse Bressner

City girl turned farm wife & small town mama, anxiously and faithfully stumbling through life, marriage, and motherhood one word at a time.

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