"There are just not enough hours in the day", Shawn and I say to each other at least once a day. We work and we play and we clean and we cook and, before you know it, it's time to do it all over again. We stretch ourselves thin sometimes, never getting enough sleep, rarely finishing a whole meal. But we are living this life so big right now, we are doing this life with all of the energy that we can muster and we're giving it our 110%. Why? Because we know that these days are priceless, no matter how difficult. We know that, in the blink of an eye, they will be over. We know that this time in our children's lives, this time when they are so pure and innocent and willing to learn and love us completely: it will pass as quickly as the seasons go by.
As a home health nurse, I take care of mostly elderly patients. I go into their homes and hear their stories and look at their photos. They tell me about their weddings and their husbands going off to the war and their wives washing laundry on a washboard. They tell me about their children, many of them with families that included 5 or 6 or even 9 kids. Their eyes sparkle as they relive their "younger days", "the good 'ole days", the times in their lives when they were healthy and young and full of life. They never, ever talk about lack of sleep or toddler temper tantrums, they never recount the turmoil that is potty training or not having enough "me" time. Because, in the grand scheme of things, those things don't matter. Those aren't the things we're going to remember. The hard parts of raising kids, the messy and the ugly and the frustration, we'll forget about all of that just like we forget about the pain of labor. What we WILL remember: the sound of little feet coming down the stairs and crawling into our beds just before dawn, the beautiful sight of our husband carrying our daughter on his shoulders, the splashing in the bathtub and the baby crawling into the cabinets. We'll remember the GOOD, and the hard and the bad and the inconveniences will be completely insignificant. In the big picture.
And this is what I've been carrying with me all week: breathe, Liv. Those things that you think are so important, those "to dos", they can wait. These kids, these moments, the magic that is the Christmas season, it can not. This is my NEW rhythm, this is my season to enjoy being a mama and to be the best at it that I can possibly be. Everything else can wait, everything else will still be there when I'm ready to come back. Right now, I'm going to take the advice of my patients and "Enjoy this time in your life, honey. You'll never get these years back. These are the best years". The best, the hardest, and the most rewarding. Let's make it count.