I’ve found myself more emotional in the months following the birth of my second child than in the months following my first. I don’t think this is a postpartum-depression kind of thing, but rather a deeper-understanding-of-the-preciousness-of-life kind of thing.
My daughter turns 3 in a few months. She’s a full blown little kid. I know that she was a baby once, and I have all the pictures to prove it. But she is so distinctively her little 33 month old self, complete with her little personality, and all the things she currently says and does and her unique way of thinking right at this moment – that’s hard for me to remember when she was a baby.
And yet, it was also HER that I was just holding in my arms the same way I now hold my son.
Last night, at our family reunion, I stood in the back of the hall holding my infant son as my daughter jumped and played out on the dance floor with everyone else. I took a few moments to just stare at my little baby boy and his adorable little face while swaying to the music. ‘Here I am right in this moment’, I thought, ‘and this exact moment with this precious baby will pass before I know it. I’m going to blink, and I’ll be dancing at his wedding instead’.
My mom works with elderly patients, many with dementia who have gotten “stuck” in a memory from their life and are confused with their current surroundings. One thing that my mom has noticed and mentioned to me is that these people often have incredibly vivid memories about previous times in their lives; times that I assume they felt the most ‘alive’ or that at least made the deepest impression over the whole of their lives. And the things that these people remember the most, and the period of life that they most often get stuck in? When their kids were young and their family all together.
And so it makes me think – is THIS the prime of my life? Right now? Not college, or my single, uninhibited life after college, or even those first youthful years of marriage? But right NOW? Even with all the busyness and stressors and constant feeling of still reaching for more? Is this current period the time that I will look back on – when my life is at it’s end – as the time in which I most wish I could re-live?
I think I get teary-eyed more now after the birth of my second child because I’m so much more aware of how quickly time does indeed pass. And how briefly babies stay babies. And I just want to eat up every second of my son being as precious as he is now. I’m sure I really will be dancing at his wedding before I know it.
I don’t know what the future will hold and I don’t know if I will have more kids after this. But either way, I’m appreciating the heck out of my kids, right now, in this moment, while they are still so young.
Time passes too quickly.