With each passing year as we draw closer to another autumn, I find myself mind blown that another trip around the sun has occurred. Fall is simply my favorite. For one reason and for another—I met my husband and later discovered I would be a first-time mother all while the leaves were transforming into their vibrant shades indicating the transition into a new season.
I am sure there is a metaphor in there somewhere.
Of course, and obviously, I am aware of the blessings associated with being given time, but I cannot help struggling with the passage of said time.
Here I am in my mid-30s, married to a spouse I have been with longer than apart. The years are passing, and we no longer have newborn cries to soothe or toddlers to continuously chase.
Somehow we are closing the age gap between ourselves and our parents all the while confused as to how quickly we got here.
We spent a lot of time having babies. We started our family in our early to mid-20s and continued to have five children within an eight-year span. I was pregnant or nursing for so long I did not believe anyone when they told me time would come to an end. I silently rolled my eyes when they said I would see the days of less daycare and more independent children. It seemed so foreign that I could not even fathom it, much less prepare myself for it.
As such, every time one of my babies became another year older, I still had another child on the way or a baby at home. Time seemed to stand still as we continued to live in an alternate reality where all of our days were duplicates and on repeat.
Until they weren’t.
My oldest is now a preteen, and my youngest is four. The reality that we no longer have actual babies in our house is crushing me. Yes, five kids is a lot, and to answer the inevitable, burning question, no, we won’t be having more. But, I find myself wondering . . . while I have been there for their whole lives, I wonder if I have really been there.
I remember telling myself on multiple occasions to enjoy these moments, making a point to commit certain life occurrences to memory. But, all of a sudden my firstborn is in middle school and my last baby is a year away from kindergarten.
And I am left with a bleeding heart wondering where it all went.
It is hard to put those years behind me. You know, the years I spent anticipating a new life that would inevitably change ours. Watching my toddlers welcome yet another newborn sibling with their sweet little voices forming broken sentences questioning how long this one would stay with us.
Spoiler alert: forever.
I loved spending those two days in the hospital, with just me and my little one.
And yes, I love hospital births. And medicated ones. But I digress.
My point is, I will never experience those moments again and I am struggling to accept that.
To be honest, I don’t want more of those moments, I want those moments back.
Time more than slipped through my fingers; it escaped without having the decency to give proper notice.
Time may be a blessing but it is also inconsiderate. It just keeps moving forward without any regard for the fact we want more of it. It hurdles onward through space even in the midst of pain, grief, and regret. It most certainly does not give us the courtesy of lingering so we can savor our this makes it all worth it moments just a little longer.
I am grateful for the precious memories my life has afforded me, but, oh, how cruel I find it that these souvenirs are not tangible.
I am writing this to remind myself that I have to be careful.
Careful because I can too easily become lost in longing for the sweet, sweet past that I forget to savor the beautiful gift of the precious yet fleeting present.