As parents, at the end of a long day we want nothing more than for our kids to just go to sleep easily. We may sometimes hit a breaking point and it isn’t pretty. Well, last night thankfully wasn’t one of those times. But I was definitely ready for my daughter to go to bed. My son has been waking really early for a couple weeks and I’m just not a morning person. I had let my daughter stay up later than her brother and she and I were watching a show on my iPad together before her bedtime.
When I told her it was time to go to bed, she sat up, and in the process the iPad banged into her forehead. The poor thing burst into tears. I immediately pulled her onto me and held her close. Part of me wanted to hurry the process along to get her to bed, but then I also found myself savoring this rather ordinary (turned sacred) moment. I felt God so strongly. “Remember when she was a baby? She’s still your baby.” With her face buried in my neck, I thought back to the memories that sometimes feel impossible to bring to the surface: my little girl as a tiny newborn in those first weeks of her life. I thought of her as a chubby, babbling baby filling my days with joy. I remembered her as a toddler saying the cutest things out of nowhere. Why is time so tricky? When I try and think of these memories, they’re so hard to recall sometimes. But tonight, they came back one by one as I held my sweet girl.
It’s interesting the moments that came flooding to the surface were not the trips we have taken as a family. They weren’t her first birthday party or even her first steps. Not the pumpkin patch visits or sitting on Santa’s lap. Not the “girl dates” we take here and there. They were the ordinary moments that I take for granted day after day. The regular, daily routines that seem so long, but are changing in the blink of an eye.
The days are long and the months are short, just as the saying goes. I want to freeze time in many ways, but forge ahead simultaneously. Because the struggle we feel in the present always seems like the one we can’t handle. But there is beauty in passing phases and a rainbow at the end of each little storm.
I think when we have raised our children, it will be the smallest, simplest moments that we savor. Holding their sweet hands to cross the street. Baking cookies together after school. Trips to the grocery store. The endless string of boo-boos we comforted. The most mundane moments will be our most cherished ones.
There is indeed beauty in the long days, and I am finding it. Even in the extra-long, beginning at 5am days.