When I was a hormone-addled, sleep-deprived creature barely resembling a human in my son’s earliest months, people told me: “Cherish it, it goes so fast.” I grumbled and growled, too exhausted to take any advice to heart that wasn’t how to get my baby to sleep at night. It was advice I believed to be true but couldn’t put into practice at the time.
Now, flash forward, my boy is closing out first grade and almost 7, a number that sounds too old for how quickly it’s gone. Friday nights I tuck in with him into his just barely big enough bottom bunk, surrounded by a menagerie of stuffed animals, pillows and layers of blankets. It’s a ritual which, I admit, I look forward to as much as he does. When I post about this, friends with teens or grown children comment nostalgically, “I miss those days,” or “I’d give anything to have just one more slumber party like that again.”
I think about their words when my son’s foot winds up in my ribs or he thrashes in his sleep and elbows me in the nose. I think this also when I’m grumbling about going to the boring park down the street again or one of his questions cuts in on my work for the tenth time in a row despite having set him up with an activity.
This is parenthood in a nutshell. All the little agonies in the moment soon become treasures you’d love to recreate, gone too soon to catch them. Now I can see all the sweetness in babies, where once I only felt a weighty fatigue and sense of burden. Now even the most intense of toddlers make me smile with their wide-eyed observations and goofy humor, though I had to go back to therapy to handle my own toddler. As the mother of an only child I am feeling this fleeting nature of his childhood ever more keenly. READ THE REST at Mom.me