Monday, July 21, 2014

The days are long

Have you heard the saying, "The days are long, but the years are short?" 

I first heard it when Isaac and I were in an infant ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) class together all those 10 years ago. Gulp. Ten.

I've thought about it a lot over my baby- and child-raising years. It has walloped me in the face at major milestones (walking, talking, no training wheels, first drop-off playdate, last day of school) and birthdays. It has snuck up on me and tapped me on the shoulder during quiet, tender moments and silly, laughter filled times.

Hey, you. Mama. Pssssst.

The absolute truth of these words is ringing louder and more persistently in my ears as my children (and I) get older. 

There are days that feel they'll never end. Sick child. Sleepy child. Sassy child. Busy day. Tired, overwhelmed mama. The minutes tick and tock and I wonder how we'll make it to bedtime with sanity intact.

There are days that stretch before us luxuriously as we meander through our day taking a bike ride and looking at clouds, running through the sprinkler and sharing ice cream, noticing the array of delightful colors at sunset. The long, lovely day ends with bathtime and cuddles and books before bed.

There are days that rush by with sports and school and meals and hugs and kid transportation logistics and who'll watch what game and who'll drive to piano and we collapse into bed in a sleepy heap.

There are days, like we experienced this weekend, where big things happen.

First time at camp.
Getting settled into her cabin at drop-off time

Saving goodbye to her fantastic camp counselors 2 1/2 days later

First birthday invitations sent out.

Another baseball season in the books. Another second place finish.
practicing his wall climb during hour 5 at the ball fields

A great season with great coaches and players
And I want to press stop, then rewind, and I want to start life over with these four beautiful children of mine. From the first snuggly introduction at the hospital to the nights awake to the first steps and the first favorite book and the long walks in the stroller where they start to discover nature to the first dip  in a lake to. . . on and on. All of it. I want it all again. I'll take all of the bother along with all of the magic.

I get this life. This life is such a gift. A fleeting gift that is passing by way too quickly. Some days I notice it more than others, but it is always lingering in the back of my mind, whispering in my ear.

Love more.

Hug often.

Watch the sunset together.

Eat more ice cream.

Take more walks.

Say I love you.

Say I'm sorry.

Mean it.

Put down the phone.

Pick up the baby.

Write a love note to your spouse or child.

Wear your swimsuit. Dive into the deep end. Get your hair wet.
cellulite and saddle bags be darned
Because we can't do it over. But we can do it better from here on out. We can live this life for the gift it is.We can love these people around us like the gifts they are.

We can let go of the unnecessary stresses that we place on ourselves and that we allow others to place on us. Stresses about where we buy our clothes or how our house is decorated or which reading group the kid is in or if we're going on a summer trip or if we're not busy enough or if we're too busy or which extracurricular activity guarantees early college admission.

Because the first birthday invitations are in the mail and the 6 year old is excited to start first grade because he gets to do ALL of school now and Audrey went away to camp and Isaac is almost 10 1/2. 

 Life keeps on keeping on. Let's make it a good one.

 How do you put aside the stresses of life, balance work and play and parenthood and life, and make life beautiful? I'll all ears!

1 comment:

  1. To be honest, DeNae, I read your blog. Your words help me to destress and become calm. They make me think and wonder and cry and love this big, beautiful, distressed world we live in. It's funny that one of the things Jon remembers about confirmation is that worrying is a sin and he doesn't let me forget it. I'm a worrier but when I read your words, my heart becomes calm, God enters in, and the worries are kept at bay. Thank you, my dear Goddaughter, for your love of this big love, epic fail world!