I found this picture of me with my baby, Colby, taken at the hospital the day we brought him home, and I gasped at how much he’s changed in just four short months. There’s a lot to motherhood that seems to go sloooooow. The potty-training, the before-bed meltdowns, the messes, the neediness, the nighttime wake-ups. And you think, “will my kids be this hard forever? Will I ever sleep through the night again? Will I actually be able to, I don’t know, one day, use the restroom without a child hanging from me?” But lately, I’ve been wanting to slam my feet on the brakes and just slow things down. I never, ever thought I’d say this. But now with little Colby—our third and last baby—I’m starting to realize how much I’m going to miss the baby years. (So much so that the bassinet we’ve used for our three sons, which Colby has grown out of, just sits sadly in my dining room, waiting for me to get the courage up to give it away. I can’t bring myself to do it.) Yes, there are things I won’t miss about the early years of mothering, but tonight as I was tucking them all in for bed—snuggling in with the 2 year old, who gave me the sweetest kisses; explaining to the 4 year old what toothpaste is made of; singing to the baby—I thought, oh my goodness, I love this stage of life.
Someone I know just tweeted a Calvin and Hobbes quote: “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take the time to enjoy where we are.” And where I am right now is pretty good. Better than good. Great.