Lately I’ve been wishing my children wouldn’t grow up so fast. They are at that stage of childhood where they need me so much less. So, when my daughter, my youngest, crawled into bed with me yesterday morning I cuddled her tight. I stroked her hair and whispered I love you into her ear. Then I watched her fall asleep until she breathed that deep contented breathing that only children can manage at five in the morning. I can’t hear myself sleep so I don’t know what I do. I’m pretty sure that’s not it.
I loved every minute of our cuddle time. I didn’t mind that she woke me from deep slumber and started my day way too early on the flimsy excuse of a bad dream that she could no longer even remember. I held her and she was baby once more.
This morning I heard little footsteps approaching my door. I shut my eyes tight and hoped she would bypass my room and head downstairs for a few minutes of morning cartoons before I had to officially start my day. No luck. Once again, she crawled into my bed, under the covers and close to me, “Mommy, I had a bad dream.” This time I barely grazed my arm against her and said, “Go to sleep.”
Yes, I loved having babies and it’s hard to see them getting older but some things are sacred and I don’t wish to relive them. I am going to have to include more sleep in my wishes and maybe allow that my children are getting older and that is natural and that is as it is meant to be now. I am no longer equipped to do the late night wake up calls or to share the bed with extra bodies.
Life changes and it happens so that we can savor and enjoy the moments we have and then look back and say, “Yes, I did that then. That’s pretty amazing!” But then the next thing comes along and you’re off, putting together science projects or climbing mountains that you never imagined their little legs could. It’s here and it’s now and the only reason to look back is to smile at the time we had then. Each phase of life is a gift and we need to appreciate it as such because wishing for something different is only holding us back from the perfection in front of us. Plus it may mean getting less sleep and that is just not acceptable.