“It will go fast.” “Before you know it, they will be moving out!” “The days are long, but the years are short.” I’ve been told these things by relatives, friends with older children, and people in the grocery store (as I juggled two squirmy kids and a cart full of food). My motherhood journey has felt both long and very short. Although it began a mere 5 years ago, it seems like a lifetime ago that I was not answering to Mommy/Mom/Mama.
Being a mom to two kids 20 months apart, my days are fast-paced and busy. But I have found so many moments of joy throughout different stages of my journey.
For me, motherhood started after many long hours of labor, and through the blur of it all, I distinctly remember the nurse placing my baby in my arms for the first time. He was so tiny and beautiful. I was in awe of this little human pressed against my chest. We experienced many firsts together, the same ones many parents share with their babies: first bath, first foods, first steps, first words. Some of my most memorable and cherished moments of the early days were usually in the quiet of the night, just holding him and rocking.
As my little ones have grown out of the baby stage, they have had a lot to say. I try to jot down the questions they ask that catch me off guard, or when they say something that makes me laugh or brings me happiness. “Mommy, does God make people by drawing them, cutting them out, and they come alive?” “Are you alive when you’re in heaven?” “Thanks for being my mom today.” I am in awe of their curious minds and their desire to understand the big world around them.
Very recently, my five-year old son came in from outside and climbed up on the counter to pick out an apple. Understanding the obvious signal that he was hungry for a snack, I helped him locate the cutting board and a knife while I watched him carefully dissect it. Before I knew it, he darted back out the door with apple in-hand. Later, he came back in the house and filled a watering can in the bathroom sink. I became curious about what he was up to and went outside to find a large brown area of dirt where grass had been growing. “I’m growing an apple tree, Mom.” I could have been angry that he dug up some newly grown grass, but I found so much joy in the fact that he decided he wanted an apple tree and was going to do what it took to make it happen. The grass will grow back, and I smile to myself every time I see the unsightly brown patch of dirt in the middle of our front yard.
I will continue to remember how moments like these will soon be just memories. Viewing the world through their eyes is a beautiful thing.
About the author
Valerie is a wife, mom of two, and full-time family manager. She looks forward to her morning cup of coffee, runs on and off the Monon Trail, and even mowing the lawn for a guaranteed kid break.