Oh, How Those Little Years Go By …

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“The great paradox of parenting is that it moves in both slow motion and fast speed.”  

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How is it that motherhood becomes such an integral part of who we are that we almost forget who we were before our children rocked our worlds? It’s a lifelong journey that we are on, friends, one that is both challenging and rewarding. I don’t know about you, but becoming “mommy” to my two boys has been one of the greatest blessings in my life, and it has uncovered a part of me that I always knew was deep inside.

 

Those boys … they were the keys to unlock this inner part of me that I absolutely cherish. 

 

 

 

Though it feels like motherhood is a lifetime, and the day-to-day moments can feel long and mundane, I’m acutely aware that this part of the journey with my littles is but a very short season in the grand scheme of life. 

 

You know what I mean … 

 

Suddenly, it dawns on you:

 

  • Gosh, I honestly can’t remember the last time I spoonfed my child. 
  • When was the last time I wiped a little tushy? 
  • Do I even know when I stopped helping in the bathtub or with getting my child dressed? 
  • How am I already putting away these sizes of clothes and bringing in new ones? (Insert ugly tears. Every. Single. Time.) 

 

It’s a slow fade. You almost don’t even notice it, until you do. And although you are grateful for the independence you’ve longed for your child to have, it’s a reminder that this phase goes so much more quickly than you’re ready for; time flies and seems to stand still all at the same time.

 

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss

 

I have many friends with kids of all ages and stages, so I know a bit of what’s likely to come when they are in middle and high school and beyond (although, I can’t even allow my brain to go there at this point). When I talk to these moms, they always share how they miss these years with little kids, and I am reminded to soak it in and appreciate the small moments.

 

We have “mentor moms” with grown children in our MOPS group who encourage and pray for us. They share reflections and beautiful words of wisdom from their experiences in motherhood. I’m always so grateful for them bringing us back to hearts of gratitude for these tiring toddler years and all that comes with it!

 

The thing is, I know my boys won’t always love being with me more than anyone else, and one day they will close the doors to their rooms with “DO NOT ENTER” posted on the outside. Life will inevitably change, and we will shift with it, over and over again.

 

Last week, we had one of those nights where absolutely NO ONE got a good night’s sleep. My 6-year old woke up in the middle of the night from a bad dream, crawled in bed with us, and proceeded to tell me about his dream. With three of us in the bed and some snoring from a few of us, daddy ended up having to go to a different bed, I didn’t go back to sleep, and then my younger one woke up. I went into his room for some rocks and snuggles, and then the older one came in to find me … you get the idea!

 

 

My boys, even in this sleepless night, I know you won’t always crawl in bed with me or require snuggles in the middle of the night. So, I’ll let you come into our bed, even when it’s inconvenient. I’ll listen to your dreams and sacrifice sleep to embrace the snuggle.

 

You may be getting too big, but I’ll hold you until I can’t anymore.

 

It might be past your bedtime, but I’ll lay with you and snuggle a little longer.

 

When you are constantly talking, I’ll remember that your voice will not always be this sweet, and you won’t always want to talk to me about everything. So, I’ll listen intently to all your stories and eternal questions.

 

Though I may have a list of things to do or just want to rest, I’ll remember that you won’t always want to spend time with me. I’ll muster up the energy and take the extra time to play and be silly with you. 

 

As we walk hand-in-hand, I’ll hold you a little tighter and take a mental snapshot of this moment when your hand was small in mine. I’ll hold your hand as long as you’ll let me.

 

 

Moms, let’s be grateful for these little moments. They are important, and I know one day we’ll look back on them, wishing we could relive each and every one – sleepless nights and all!

 

Time, please slow down.

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Kristi, a small-town IL farm girl, finally feels she can call St. Louis “home” after 8 years. She and her husband Dan have three boys – Carson, Harrison (who happens to be rocking an extra chromosome), and Nelson. A former Parkway teacher, Kristi now stays home with her boys and leads a local MOPS group. A ripple of life changes quickly taught her that adapting and pivoting is the name of the game: starting over in a new state, full-time working mom to stay-at-home mom, battling PPD, navigating Down syndrome and Autism diagnoses, and most recently walking the painful road of grief after the loss of her brother. Her faith roots have been her lifeline, and she always seeks to be a voice of truth, compassion and hope, especially in the messy. She is passionate about advocating for individuals with special needs, sharing encouragement through the roller coaster of life, and supporting moms in overall health and wholeness so they can show up just as they are in every season of motherhood.