The moment my kids were born I swear I started counting time in seconds instead of minutes. I’ll l be honest, occasionally I’m desperately counting the seconds until bedtime but mostly it’s because I want to slow down the clock. Every second that goes by they are that much older and I can’t even fathom how quickly they are growing up.
I had my kids 20 months apart so while I have two toddlers taking over my house right now there was a period of time that I had two babies at home. One day I braved taking my two babies to the mall (my 2 month old strapped to the front of me while I pushed my 22 month old in the stroller) An elderly women on the elevator smiled sweetly at them, and then looked at me and said “Dear, try to enjoy them…THE DAYS ARE LONG BUT THE YEARS ARE SHORT”..
It was my first but not my last exposure to this quote. I have heard it many times since, sometimes online and sometimes strangers see me with two very little ones and give me this reminder of time. This is a lovely piece of advice and truthfully, with time, it has become one of my favorite quotes. However, in that moment, I felt this was easy advice to give when you are already looking back on the years. I think it’s probably easy to forget how very LONG those long days can be. To forget what it feels like to have laundry that is piled higher then Mount Everest, kids that have been sick for a month, or a simple task like walking out the front door taking 45 minutes and two temper tantrums. Yes, it is pretty difficult to miss rocking a baby to sleep when you are currently rocking a baby that just won’t sleep (for the 50th time today). I can imagine that time likely erases how frustrating it can be to make another meal that no one eats, or how truly tired you felt with no break in sight.
It’s okay to feel the weight of those really long days, the ones where bedtime can’t come soon enough. I know sometimes I do. But once the house is quiet and my husband and I are sitting in our living room, surrounded by about a billion toys, hindsight starts to change the day. You start to see the adorable in the annoying moments and suddenly you can see the funny in the frustrating. Somehow, sitting in my living room only an hour after counting the minutes until bedtime, even knowing they are just upstairs tucked into their beds…I miss them. It is then I can understand and am maybe even a little grateful for the well-meaning elderly women from the from the malls reminder to enjoy every second.