Every night, I cuddle my oldest tight and rock him. The whole time, my mind is analyzing how big he’s gotten, how he barely fits on my lap anymore, how he’s no longer my baby, how he’s become a boy. Where does the time go? I wonder. Wasn’t it just yesterday that you fit perfectly into the nook of my arms?
Sometimes I stare at him, trying to imagine what he will look like all grown up. And every time I am surprised by the aging face of the little boy staring back at me. He’s not so little, anymore. I tell him, “You’re getting so big! Why do you have to grow? Stay my little baby forever.” And he replies, “But I have to grow, Mommy. I can’t make it stop. I just have to grow.” I know sweet boy, but I wish we could.
These moments that seem never-ending. These moments of motherhood that are frustrating and hard, where I find myself saying, “I just can’t take it!” These are the moments taken for granted.
Because these moments will end. They will not last forever. I want to cherish these moments while he is still small—small enough to need me, small enough to still want me to hold him and kiss him and take care of him. For one day, he will be all grown up, and he won’t need me anymore. And I will find myself longing to do it all over again.
There will come a day when my home will no longer be filled with the sounds of children laughing. When all of the screaming and yelling will stop. Sooner than I think, it will become all too quiet for my comfort—a silent void aching for time to rewind.
I do not know yet how it feels to have them grow up, head off to college, or get married and start families of their own. But I can tell you, I have thought about this, and I both look forward to and dread this moment in life more than anything.
For now, I will sit and soak up these precious and fleeting moments. Because time is a fickle friend. And soon I will be left with nothing more than my memories.