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The Years Are Short

May 4, 2010

I am forever thinking of my children’s lives in relative terms. We had such a beautiful morning at my favorite park today and I kept looking around at the other kids and what they were doing and thinking of how quickly they grow. It’s especially apparent when we are meeting a group of other moms and kids that we’ve now known for over a year, so we’re in a second season of activities with them.

Last summer, Nick was just tiny as it began to get  warm. Though Mia was past unsure toddling, she was still small enough that she stuck with me or I stuck with her at the park to make sure she wasn’t falling or wandering or needing help.

Today, I brought my camera knowing that the park was shaded and the kids were happy. In just one year, Nick is now climbing and sliding. I have to follow him, but he plays and checks things out.  I hardly got any pictures of Mia because she’s now hit a point where she doesn’t need me to be right on top of her, watching and anxious(though I did have another mom tell me today that I was impressively calm when Nick fell off of a platform – only another mom could give a compliment full of such understanding of the restraint it took not to freak out. He laid there for a few seconds, got up to play again and I let out the deep breath I was holding in.) She loves jumping in with and observing other kids(especially older), yet she’s also perfectly content to explore on her own and find a pile of sand to scoop and shape.

As I watched each of my two from a close view and a bit more distance, I couldn’t help but think of the change in perspective in just one year. There are probably 4 or 5 new babies in the group this year that are the same-ish size/age as Nick was last summer. There are also bigger kids almost exactly one year older than Nick and one year younger than Mia who seem to forever mark for me where one of my children was a blink of an eye ago and where the other will be in just the blink of an eye. They seemed so big last summer in comparison to Nick and so small in comparison to Mia. They had  just  starting to walk and explore – now they seem gigantic and independent and agile and downright adventurous and I cannot believe that it will be only one more short year until my sweet boy hits that stage of independence – which is just where Mia was last summer.

Though these shoes would still be big on her, they’ve transitioned into John’s grass-covered yard work shoes. She actually has not only enough hair for a ponytail now, but also for braids.

This sleepy guy still sleeps a lot, but mostly because he never stops moving when he’s awake and wears himself out. And it’s been way, way, way too long since he actually fell asleep on even either of our shoulders, let alone snuggled on a chest.

Gretchen Rubin says it best – “The days are long, but the years are short.” Today those words are hitting me with a particularly bittersweet feeling and making me treasure the little moments with my two little ones. At Clover Lane, her header always includes the quote, “Do not trust your memory, it is a net full of holes; the most beautiful prizes slip through it.” (George Duhamel)

It’s so true today. There are so many little things I want to remember – her dirty hands after the sand, the way she so proudly yells, “Look at me Mama, Look at me!,”  the sweaty head with plastered curls waking  up from long afternoon naps on a hot day, the way she loves to nap in a nest of blankets in our bed, the way she holds her Bunny and loops her fingers in the tiny bow while she sucks her thumb, the way she kisses and hugs her brother so gently and sweetly. The dirt that he constantly accumulates in his neck and toes lately from sunscreen and sweat and dirt from being outside, his random laughter at things only a one year old can squeal about with such pure joy, all of his new words daily – recently sister, shower and done, the way he tips his head back with all cups because he can use a cup but still forgets that they aren’t all bottles and confuses spout and straw sippy cups, the way he chooses one tiny random treasure daily to carry with him everywhere and chew, the chub on his hands, watching him learn to climb on top of anything and everything.

I want to hold on to these things so tightly, but I know that I need to loosen the grip a bit – if for nothing else but to allow the new memories to slip in.

{This post is a part of Steady Mom’s Moms’ 30-Minute Blog Challenge}

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2010 8:07 pm

    Love that quote…

    (found you at Steady Mom)

  2. May 4, 2010 9:02 pm

    Stopping by from Steady mom. That quote is so true. I find myself slowing down and trying to really take in each day with my kids. Knowing that the days can be long but they just won’t last.

  3. May 5, 2010 10:21 am

    Beautiful post, Lillian.
    This is exactly why I love blogging so much. It’s a blank canvas, allowing us to sort through our thoughts and feelings, allowing us to tuck these memories sweetly and forever into our hearts. Every time I blog about Theo and Sully, I feel lighter. As you said: loosening the grip. The very best part is sharing all of this with other mamas. It’s a virtual community of mamahood~pretty darn cool.
    Reading about Mia makes me think about Theo. They sound so similar. They’d be buds, for sure.

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