The hard years that we never want to end


Why are these years of raising young children so trying and hard but the thought of them growing into young adults leaving home is so sad?

My children are still young. At ages seven, five and 2.5 they run rings around me. I have days where if I hear 'Maaaa-uuum' one more time I feel like my head will explode from rage. I am needed, I am wanted, I am in high demand. It is absolutely exhausting to the bone.

But the day will come where they won't need me anymore, not like they do now. One day this nest we've built will suddenly seem enormous and the rooms will be empty and the quietness will be deafening. And I'll think back to this time in my life where chaos reigns and dinner feels more like feeding time at the zoo, and I'll miss it.
I know I will because I already do. I mourn for days that haven't even ended.

I want to bottle up the feeling of pride I get when I see my boy hit a tennis ball and the smile on his face that he did it! I want to remember the way my five year old squeezes my head against his each evening in bed as I hug him goodnight and how I don't leave until he says 'you can go now'.
I never want to forget the way Miss Two struts around the house like a queen, making demands and mess wherever she goes, all the while being the cutest thing I've ever laid eyes on.

Some times I want days to end quickly. I count down the hours until bed time and crash into my pillow at night with relief that a hard day is done. Other times I want to freeze time and hold onto a moment forever, terrified of it ever ending.

Knowing that our baby-making days are behind us I feel a sense of a new era beginning. Miss 2.5 is almost no longer a baby. She is tall and independent and strong and wise beyond her years. I already mourn the years just passed... the baby-wearing, nursing, tiring but amazing years.
I feel like I am stepping into Phase Two of motherhood and I know it will be just as good, just as special and just as missed, when it too passes me by. 

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