You guys....in less than two weeks I will have a ten year old. Ten. As in a decade. Double digits. Where the heck did ten years go? You know, anyone who has ever been inducted into this blessed thing called parenting has been initiated in by well meaning fellow mamas and dads, nanas and papas with great , yet usually unsolicited advice. It's usually given approximately three weeks before their little bundle of joy is welcomed into the world with lots of hugs, kisses, I love yous and happy birthdays. Not surprisingly, it is also about the time the glowing mama to be is getting slightly (read incredibly) more uncomfortable than she has been her entire pregnancy and is also just a little anxious for said little one's arrival.
So it's not surprising that the sentiment of some of the advice, especially cliche'd advice can lose its meaning quickly. You know where l'm going right? It usually goes something like "Cherish every moment. They grow up so fast." It's not bad advice...not at all. In fact it's the one piece I give every new mama. Maybe it is just poorly timed or just overused, but somewhere along the way it isn't heeded the way it should be, and if you are like me, you have maybe already sat down and looked at your littles and thought to yourself, "Where did the last ten years go?"
Fortunately, like most things, you get better as you get older. I cherish a lot more now than I did when Jae was a baby. And those moments are just gone. I don't get to relive them. There are no do overs. And yet, there aren't any regrets. I did cherish moments. We made memories and I was present, but it wasn't until very recently that I started to truly enjoy the small things. You know like bedtime prayers and jumping off the diving board for the first time. The look of excitement when traditions are played out and how they sneak into my bed in the middle of the night like I won't notice they are there.
A few years ago, some of those things wouldn't have been on my radar. In fact, some of them may have annoyed me a bit. But now? Now I crave those moments. My baby is four. These little moments don't last forever. Right now, my four year old hates it when I leave. I'm his best friend. But in a few years, he will trade cuddles with his mama for sleepovers at a friend's house. So we don't take those little things for granted anymore. I have a new chapter to begin in my little lady's life now. I'm excited to enjoy the small things here too. It won't be long and we will be sending her off to college. I'm a little sad but also a lot excited. We have a lot of memories to make. But as I embrace the new, I'm realizing it's okay to mourn the old for a little bit. So I'm reminding myself of that wise advice given to me when I wasjust a baby having a baby. Time is fleeting. Live life in such a way that when you look back at your life fifty years from now, you can do nothing but smile. Enjoy the small things friends, whether your babies are brand new or nearing retirement. It's. never too late to start.