That quote is displayed boldly on a large wall in our home in giant letters, above pictures that have carved out a special place in our hearts. It’s a quote I’ve referenced on here before, and it’s one that I recite to myself daily, sometimes multiple times. I can’t recall where I first read it or heard it, but I know that it etched itself in my memory somewhere around the time Kendall was exiting the colicky newborn stage, the stage that I had to work so hard at not wishing away.
At that point in life, I found myself saying in my head, and even out loud, things like, “Ugh. I can not WAIT until you sleep through the night! I am so over this newborn business. When will you stop crying so much? When are you going to be more independent?! I’m soooooo tired.” And then, like a punch to the gut, I would feel sick for thinking and saying such things each time I went to put him in a favorite onesie that suddenly was too small, or when, out of nowhere, he would master a huge milestone, like rolling over.
Yes, it’s so true. They DO grow too fast. Life DOES go by in the blink of an eye. People say these things to you when you are pregnant or toting around the tiny two week old in his infant seat at the restaurant. They tell you, “Enjoy it! He will be big before you know it,” and all you can really think is “Ugh. If one more person tells me that.. seriously. I HOPE it goes by fast. I need some sleep!” It’s one of those things in life that you will never understand the true meaning of until you’ve witnessed it with your own two eyes, and maybe by telling others to take it all in and enjoy it, you are reminding yourself to do the same. Clearly, it’s not that life is literally moving faster when you are a parent, but the transformation a baby can make over the course of a month, week, or even day is so unfathomable and truly awe inspiring it’s impossible to wrap your head around.
If there is one thing I have learned (okay, obviously outside of how to swaddle, make purees, and sing Elmo’s Song) since having Kendall, it’s how to live for the moment and be grateful for what you have right now. I’m not going to say I’ve mastered it. I’ve always held myself to such a level of perfection in so many aspects of my life. I’ve always been very driven to have MORE, to accomplish more, to be more. But, now it seems gratitude and patience are coming to me more naturally. I’m able to look around and be thankful for THIS- this moment, this age, this challenge, these things we have worked hard for, this amazing husband, this ball of love I call my son.
I write this after an inspiring phone conversation with one of my very best friends today. She, too, is a stay at home mom to a little boy, a driven perfectionist, always holding herself to a higher standard than anyone else. We chatted for over an hour, and a good part of that conversation was about how great it felt to just finally accept and be happy with who and what we are at this very moment. It’s a peace we never really felt before. And does that mean we are now slacker moms, lacking in motivation, eating Cheetos in our sweatpants in line for daycare pickup? Uhhmm.. no. There is a balance that you have to strike, a fine line between ambition and acceptance. We may teeter totter on it, but we are swinging closer to the middle, finding our place, and learning that it’s much easier to move forward when you’re comfortable with where you are at right now.
Kendall is 16 and a half months old