Monday, April 30, 2012

On Parenthood and Time

I am a clock watcher. A life timer. I'm a day counter, a count-downer... which is a downer. How many Saturdays do I have left? I think about it even more that I'm at work and she's at daycare. Her first two years? Felt lengthy. Uninterrupted. Glorious and long and slow. Now? Time, it flies. And it scares me.

I read a blog post the other day where a mama like myself read a parenting book that laid out exactly how many minutes - minutes! - you have left with your three year old before she turns 18. As soon as I realized that number was coming, right there in the post, I skimmed the rest. I don't need to know that kind of information. If I let myself see it, I'll never be able to forget it.

It's like heartbeats. If you're so inclined, you can look up a general count of how many heartbeats you have left until you die. I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone in their right mind would want to know that. I don't even like feeling my own heartbeat - forget about the P.'s or the BabbyDaddy's. Most days I truck along blissfully forgetting that any of us have hearts (or other organs).

Like my dad used to say, I prefer to believe we're all solid inside like potatoes.

But no matter what, the Saturdays and the heartbeats and the seconds and minutes keep ticking away. Another blog post springs to mind - one that was passed around on Facebook a while back, written by a mom who wished that people would stop asking her to enjoy every moment of her children's young lives. I understood where she was coming from, but I still don't agree with her conclusion.

I have watched, from near and from far, six brothers and sisters grow up from roly-poly babies to kids and teenagers and now even adults. It happened fast. To my dad, it happened even faster. So I say why not enjoy - on some level - every moment? Yes, it will be nice when you can enjoy whole evenings without a little one asking for one more drink of water or read a book uninterrupted for hours or pack away the car seats for good. But that leisure and convenience and quiet comes at the expense of a whole host of things that you may never experience again.

It's all about that finite number of minutes. Some of those minutes will be whining. Tantrums. Accidents. Broken stuff. Silly battles over food or clothes or tidying up. In those minutes, our children are growing - pulling away a little bit to see what it's all about. Is it convenient? Fun? Heartwarming? Nope. But it's life, and it's part of the limited time parents get with their children before those children grow up to become adults and maybe have their own families.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to miss any of those precious minutes.


enjoy every moment


7 comments:

  1. I hear you, loud and clear! You are right... it passes at the speed of lightening! My oldest daughter is now 16!!! I can`t even remember where it went... life is short and we need to savor the seconds, not the years!

    Great post!

    make it a great day...

    Momma Marge

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  2. Isn't just amazing how fast it actually goes?? I am always blown away! Great post! Came over from SITS.

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  3. Oh! to hear that heartbeat again!

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  4. I get it. I sometimes feel like time is slipping by and I get to be with them all day. I think that's why I photograph the heck out of them. So I'll have something to look at and go, oh yes..I remember that..and get back some of that time a bit.

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  5. I really feel like I just got married... but 5 kids 12-1 years old? Eek! When did that happen!

    I go crazy between savoring every moment, to wishing the drudgery was over. I like to think, however, that it just gets better and better. Each moment leads us to a better, more fulfilling relationship... more love!

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  6. Some days I can't believe I am a mom of two much less one day they will grow up and become adults on their own. I think I worry less about it since more kids seem to be living with their parents longer.

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