When I first started having babies (some 14 years ago), many people told me to savour the moments and to make sure I enjoyed my children when they were young. They told me that time flies by so quickly. They also said that my children would be young for such a short time and that before my husband and I knew it, they would be slipping through our fingers.
Looking back now, I remember the sleepless nights. I remember the aches and pains through pregnancy and the incredible joy that went along with a new baby. I remember the laundry, the diapers and the cuddles. I remember moments when I thought that time was going ever so slowly, times when I wondered if I would ever have another adult conversation or if making play dough was my new thing. I remember the days when simply getting out of my pyjamas was a success story. I remember being tired ... for a long time.
In saying all of that, I always remembered the words my more seasoned friends had said to me and they were, "savour the moments", "enjoy the time with your little ones, they are only young for such a short time."
I'm so glad that through the tired fog, the mountains of laundry, the car seats, strollers and everything else, that I enjoyed the time. Indeed, there were hard times and occasionally I found myself wondering if the fog would ever lift. It was in those moments that my friends' words echoed in my mind, and I chose to savour the moment.
Today, as I dropped my children at school, I was once again reminded of the words my friends shared with me so early in their little lives. On the way to school, I listened intently to all that was happening in our car.
My eldest was busy occupying herself as our very personal "Morning Drive DJ." Her iPod was plugged into the car and we were treated to a wide array of her music. I was amazed as I listened to the depth of her creative choices.
My son, who was sitting confidently in the middle seat of the van, chatted with me about his dream from the previous night. I loved the detail that accompanied his story and the way he was able to articulate even the smallest of details.
As I listened to my son, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw my youngest, seven-year-old Ella, perched on her seat. Ella has recently transitioned from her early readers to chapter books, which she is so proud of. This morning, she was captivated by her book. I could see her mind ticking away as she flipped the pages, gobbling up every word.
My heart was warmed by my experience in the car this morning. Our drive to school was a moment I will remember forever. This moment was capped off beautifully when we finally arrived in front of the school doors. I put the car in park and as my children departed I watched my eldest (Sophia, 13) carry herself with ease and confidence towards the main doors. She was quickly followed by her younger brother, (Gabriel, 10) who was poised and ready for a day of learning and soaking up everything his teacher offered. Then, slowly and beautifully, my little Ella emerged from her perch in the back seat.
Her chapter book neatly tucked into her bag and she was ready for the day. Before getting out of the car my lovely little girl gave me a kiss and said, "Mummy, I love you and I'll miss you today."
With that my heart skipped a beat and I replied with, "My darling girl, you are a lovely person and I will miss you today ...more than you will ever know."
Out of the car she hopped and I watched her walk into school, her little ponytail bouncing with every step. As I watched I realized that the words of my friends were indeed very wise.
My children, although still children, are growing so quickly and they truly have been young for such a short time. I'm glad I listened and savoured the moments with them.
I choose to continue to enjoy my time with them and may I remind you today, when wisdom speaks, it's important that we listen. We need to listen because our lives tell a story and weaved through the story is the beauty of the moments we gather along the way.
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Susan J Sohn