It happened today. I didn’t see it coming. I wasn’t ready for it. I cried.
My kids didn’t want to hold my hand at the park. We pulled up to the magical place that makes them smile from ear to ear and peer out the window in amazement at all the shiny, hazardous playscapes. Normally. they say,
“Hand momma. Hand.” -A usually says.
“Mommy can just hold my hand until we get to the slide?” -P frequently asks.
I can’t lie. I often am frustrated. I am tired already and ready to go home. It took 40 minutes to get them dressed. Then redressed because P might be color blind, or have his father’s sense of style- both very possible. Then A spilt her juice in her car seat so her butt smells like artificial fruit cocktail. They fought over the music on the way. They fought over windows up or down. They fought over fighting. I threatened the good ole’ ‘I’ll turn this car around and go home’ more than a handful of times. I. Was. Tired.
But then, as soon as I unloaded them out of their car seats, and set them down, no little hands filled each of my own like they normally do. Instead I heard,
“Bye momma! Byeeeeee!! Byeeee!! Slide time. Slide time.” -A screeched with glee.
“I’m going to play with the boys on the swings mom! I’m fine! I’ll stay where you can see me! Will you be okay?” -P asked.
What just happened?
No, P. I will not be okay. Don’t you need me? You need me. Come back. Aren’t you scared without me?
I sadly went over to the most central bench, where I could see both out of my peripheral vision. I sat there thinking about what P asked me.
Will you be okay?
You see, time seems so stagnant and heavy sometimes when you’re a mom. You can feel stuck. You feel suffocated some days when you are on 2 hours of sleep and a second hand cheesestick someone didn’t want to sustain you. You feel like you can’t wait for the next milestone so you can have a little bit of a break. It’s okay. We all feel that way at times. If anyone says they don’t, they’re lying.
You wanted them to be more independent. This is what you want so much in those dark trenches of hard exhausting mommy moments, Shelby.
And I realized, I was wishing away the now. But when as soon as the now is gone, I miss it.
I had sat on this same park bench what felt like a million times. I was thinking of all the laundry, and the groceries, and the list of a million chores I would surely go home to. In between wiping dirt off their knees and helping them down the slide, I was going over and over in my head all my other stuff.
I wanted so badly now to go back and shake myself.
Your babies won’t need you to push them on that swing soon. Be in the moment.
She will climb up that jungle gym without your help. Enjoy her needing you right now.
I wanted to tell that overwhelmed and stressed Shelby to push all that “Stuff” out. The groceries will be bought. The bills paid. The Mount Everest of clothes that need folding consuming your table at home will be folded. (Maybe not on that one. One day we will conquer that beast. One day.)
I wanted to tell her, embrace the right now. Embrace the messy bottomed girl who just cried for the 100th time because Minnie Mouse couldn’t come to the park. Embrace the toothless, muddy boy who just jumped in that puddle AGAIN after you asking him to stop. Embrace them racing up that hill together. Embrace it all.
Because very soon, they won’t need your hand anymore. They won’t need you to chase 2 feet behind them to make sure their wobbly knees don’t let them down. They won’t think twice before running to have fun. Their chatter will turn from cartoons and cookies to colleges and careers.
I sat on that park bench wishing I would have embraced the now sooner. Took in the chaos. Those so ordinary moments that meant stress and heaviness at the time, I now longed to have back. I longed for those little hands to fill mine as I sat with tears in my eyes.[Tweet “I now longed to have back. I longed for those little hands to fill mine as I sat with tears in my eyes.”]
Because turns out, those now moments? Weren’t ordinary at all. They were anything but.
They were extraordinary.
As I wiped my tears, I sat, watching my babies that weren’t such babies anymore. I lived in that moment. I smiled and tucked away a memory of our ‘ordinary’ day at the park.
And on the way to the car, I took the long way, and I asked them to hold my hands- just a little longer.
Originally posted 2016-04-09 14:24:00.