Parenthood seems to be an endless tussle between impatiently waiting for our little ones to reach the next milestone and dreading the day their independence takes complete control. We celebrate their latest triumphs because they’re our greatest success too. But, as they find their feet, as their words come and their personalities begin to shine, we lose a little too.
True exhaustion is those 2am feeds when baby wants to be held, we wish for sleep but we also know when it comes we will reminisce about those early hour cuddles where we can study their every feature.
We grab moments when we think our children are occupied or distracted to check our emails, reply to texts or scroll our social media pages. And how many times are we too busy trying to take the best picture that we miss out on the moment?
We juggle work, chores, errands, social events, all as our true priorities inevitably grow up.
Every now-and-then the moment to stop comes and we wonder ‘when did our newborn become a toddler’, ‘since when could you reach that?’ and ‘how can my baby be heading to university next year?’.
Well, get out the tissues because, as much as Nicole Nordeman’s song Slow Down captures a wish for our children to not grow up too fast, it only reflects the precious time we have to enjoy each stage of their lives and take it all in. Perhaps, it is us who need to slow down.
“Here’s to you never sleeping through from midnight ’til the morning,” the first verse says.
“Had to crawl before you walked, before you ran, before I knew it you were trying to free your fingers from my hand ’cause you could do it on your own now.”
Every moment, every dinner time, every visit to the park, every backyard moment holds golden memories to cherish even if they don’t all make the photo album.
The day will come when our beds won’t be full of tiny little limbs kicking us in the face, we won’t always be interrupted with endless calls to ‘come play’ while trying to hold an adult conversation and one day our birthdays won’t start before dawn – and, believe it or not, one day we will miss it all.
As Nordeman says “it’s all too fast, let’s make it last”.