My grandmother on my father’s side had four sons. As the story goes, she wanted a girl so badly that when my dad – her youngest – was born, she was so convinced he was going to be a girl that she refused to cut his hair, and her sister eventually took him for a haircut.
Eventually, my grandma got her girls – four granddaughters. My sister and I were the youngest, and she doted on us. And she always thought I was in too much of a hurry to grow up. One year, she thought she’d teach me a lesson. My dad and stepmom allowed us to choose one gift each to open on Christmas Eve. I chose a box labeled from Santa, and opened it to find a training bra. I was completely embarrassed. My grandma had put it there, trying to make a point about not being in such a rush. I’m sure, to her, time was flying and she wanted to slow it down rather than speed it up.
Lately, I find myself again rushing things. I get to work, and I can’t wait to get home. I get home, and I look forward to going to bedtime. I look forward to the weekend. I look forward to vacation. It feels, at times, like we are sort of on autopilot – wake up, go to work, get home, make dinner, eat dinner, bathe the kids, read a story, bed time, dishes, sleep, rinse and repeat. It’ll be easier when I’m done pumping, I tell myself. It’ll be easier when the baby can sit up. It’ll be easier when Pumpkin can get herself dressed. I get so wrapped up in the stuff that needs to be done, I forget to stop and enjoy the now.
There is a lot to savor in the every day. Pumpkin creates her own games where she matches letters to the alphabet. She sings songs and has the most active imagination. Peanut is learning more and more, interacting with people and toys and grabbing at spoons and bowls and books.
One day, I will look back and wonder where the time went. I will miss having a baby who needs her mom to nurse her, for nourishment and comfort. I will miss having a toddler tugging on mommy’s pants to show her something she did or to ask to help make dinner.
Twenty-something years later, I need to remember my grandma’s advice. Stop rushing. Slow down. Enjoy this time. It’s going to go by all too fast.