I’ve been doing this parenting gig for close on four years now, and the one thing that I’ve discovered is that being a mom is filled with bittersweet moments for me. Spending each day with your children is an amazing gift, and not a day goes by that I don’t notice the little changes in them. They seem to grow before your very eyes, not only in length and breadth (do they ever stop snacking?!), but in their capabilities too.
Ethan is still small and for him the achievements are smaller, but no less important. I remember celebrating when he could roll over, sit up by himself, clap his hands, and wave. Small things to most, but all big deals to us, his family. It’s been incredible to watch him grow and learn, and to share in the excitement with his biggest fan and encourager, his sister Amy.
And yet with each new thing learned I feel I’ve lost another small piece of him being my little baby boy. I rejoice at his development and at the same time I mourn at how quickly this stage passes us by. I remember shedding tears when his first tooth peeked through, sad to say goodbye to that brilliant gummy smile. I know of course that it will continue to light up my life for years to come, but can’t help feel a bit sad too. Another heart-stopping moment when he turned around to climb down the stairs backwards, pride at him having learnt this but also yet another reminder of how fast this is all happening. His learning to walk was a big milestone, at first his steps were wobbly and slow, but it wasn’t long before those steps became less unsure and more steady, and now he’s already trying to run!
As they grow, learn and become more independent, life does become that much easier. And yet why does my heart wrench at this new freedom, at those words from my daughter “it’s ok Mom, I can do it by myself.” The days may be long, oh so very long, but it’s true that the years are very, very short. And as he wraps his little arms tight around my neck, and she folds her hand into mine, I hold onto them tightly. So tightly. Perhaps if I don’t let go time will slow down just a little and they will stay small for me just a little longer.