Just look at these two. Jeremy was three and Jackson was seven months. There are many things I miss about that that time – the sweetness, the discovery, the giggles. I even miss cloth diapering and making baby food.
Yet, while I hear many moms wishing time would slow down and how their kids are growing so fast, I keep wondering why I don’t feel the same way. Sure, there are moments when I look at Jeremy and think, “You are so grown up, so mature. You’ll be going off to college in minutes,” or I look at Jackson and think, “Everything you’ve just written is in perfect grammar, and there was a time when I wasn’t even sure you’d talk.”
But those moments aren’t overwhelmingly frequent, and for the most part, I’m not wishing for time to slow down or thinking this has all gone so fast. It’s been just right.
Do I feel this way because the three of us are together all the time? I’m here for mornings, afternoons, and evenings, for school stuff and sports stuff, and I only miss those things if I’m the one who’s gone somewhere. I missed them when I was in Santa Fe and when Chuck and I went on an anniversary trip last year. Sometimes I choose to miss them on a random afternoon when my introverted nature needs a few hours alone.
Otherwise, I rarely miss anything. Rarely, hardly ever, and maybe that’s why I don’t feel like time has escaped me.
It’s a curious thing, this life we’ve created. When we became parents, I didn’t have a single thought about homeschooling or freelancing or writing a novel or even living where we live, but now I don’t wish for anything else. Some days are snapshots of perfection and other days I’m living in the bell jar, but on the whole, this life is grand and it’s a great privilege to be with these boys at every stage.
We’ll probably take a back-to-school photo on Monday, but we’ll probably be in our pajamas. Then we’ll start a new school year with fractions, creative writing, and going to co-op again. And then, a few years from now, I’ll look back at the photo and remember this time just as it was – a season of exploration, curiosity, and growth.
Maybe then I’ll think time has gone by too fast and I’ll wish for their elementary years again. Though I hope not, because living in the moment means soaking up enough experiences that you are fulfilled, like you can move forward to the next stage and not feel cheated.
So far, I don’t feel cheated. Time hasn’t been stolen from me, nor has it moved too fast. Each day has arrived and ended on schedule, giving me enough moments to savor and memories to cherish. This must be what contentment feels like.