I stumbled upon this article this morning and after wiping the tears away from my face, I was reminded just how important it is to slow down and relish the moment.
Having a kid is amazing - seriously the best thing ever. I look at our boy and find it hard to remember what life was like before he was around. What kept me going? What did I do with all that free time? Where was I hiding all of that love I now find myself bursting with for Hayes?
On the other hand, having a toddler is also exhausting. The kid cannot sit still. It requires an INCREDIBLE amount of patience and serious skill to be able to put yourself in the mindset of an 18 month old to know how to handle a situation (a skill I learn more and more about everyday). It can be frustrating. It can become tedious. It makes you realize how much you took your freedom to be selfish for granted before you had kids when you get excited about small things like being able to spend a whole 40 minutes at the gym. The reality is, it's not always cupcakes and rainbows.
But then I read an article like Cornmeal's and realize just how lucky I am to have a little guy who still wants to sit on me every morning to drink his milk. Who follows me around like he's my shadow. Who's interested in every single thing I do and imitates small mundane actions that's he's picked up without me even realizing (side note: every morning when I get ready for work, I "warm up" my eyeliner by blowing on it. Hayes will go into my make-up drawer, pull out a eye liner pencil and do the same. It is seriously the cutest thing ever.).
It reminds me that it won't be this way forever and in a couple of years, Hayes won't voluntarily go in for that family hug when we're saying good night. He won't put his head on my shoulder when I give him a quick rock before putting him in his crib. He won't get so much enjoyment out of the game we play every night when I throw his lovie, Fred on his face and say "Where's Hayes?!" (I literally have to do this 4-5 times every night before turning off the light - it's become a bedtime ritual).
I like reading articles like this because it reminds me to slow down and savor the moment. Yes, firsts are exciting. But you can't constantly be wishing your kid's life away, wondering when he'll say his first word or get rid of his binky. Lasts are so final; it's called 'last' because it never happens again. And that scares me! Our baby boy is growing up before our eyes and as important as the next developmental step is, it's also important to enjoy the one he's in.
Tonight, I won't get frustrated when Hayes doesn't finish his bedtime milk in one sitting; I'll enjoy him taking a couple breaks and coming back for more on his own time. I won't rush through his bedtime books. I'll squeeze him a little bit harder before putting him in his crib. Hell, maybe I'll throw Fred on his face 10 times! Most importantly, I'll remember that these routine moments are fleeting and take a minute to enjoy our boy in the present.