I caught a glimpse of her pushing her double stroller along the side of the road as I sped by in my car on my way to crossing things off my list and getting things done.
The baby slept while her toddler twisted around in her seat. The woman, who seemed more a girl with her pony tail and workout clothes, slowed her pace then reached down into the basket underneath and handed her a sippy cup. Satisfied, the child sat back down and enjoyed the scenery while her mom strode onward to some unknown destination, the exercise and fresh air the most important part of the excursion.
My heart smiled, remembering that time both long ago and only yesterday when just getting out of the house was an accomplishment. When I couldn’t let my kids go without a good cry, stalked the nursery school, reveled in my martyrdom, ate up every bit of deliciousness and mourned the passage of time.
I loved being that mom. I loved her so much. And I loved those babies in an almost cripplingly powerful way. I wanted nothing for myself but to peacefully drift into the overwhelming tide, going under without struggle and no intention or interest in coming up for air. At times it seemed stressful, caring for these needy, fragile creatures but mostly we rode our days along peacefully with a few good friends who made all the difference.
But now, I’m different. I’m older. My babies are no longer babies. They are 7, 10 and almost 13. I no longer have time to stroll, or even a stroller to push. My sippy cups have been replaced with sports bottles. I drive because my world has kicked into a higher gear and I need to keep up the pace. Beep beep, chop chop, let’s move it along, lady.
And I like it; the constant motion, the shift in priorities – I’m almost a person again! Having children that can actually (when they decide to) communicate and express themselves. Who are complicated, interesting and (when they decide to be) capable. Who are smart and strong and (except to each other) kind. Who are growing into young men I like, who make me proud and happy and grateful.
But I guess like with most things past, I’m sentimental. It was an age of innocence, theirs and mine. A time to laugh when you’re late for a music class and you just dropped your coffee on the floor and your baby pooped through his clothes again. A time to cry when you’re working on three hours of sleep with a newborn and your oldest sneaks into your bed in the middle of the night and throws up on you. A time to dance to Laurie Berkner and giggle with the Wiggles. And a time for endless walks with a good friend, a stroller stocked with goldfish and lollipops and your babies at the center of your world.
And you still at the center of theirs.
I’ve been thinking about just this very thing a lot lately. This makes me all teary! And Laurie Berkner awww… I still sing that to the kids. They think I’m crazy. lol
Generally, there’s so much to do now, to think about then, but every so often… tears. It’s all good. 🙂
I have liked my kids more and more as they age. I fondly remember the sippy cup stage but would never want to return. Thank goodness I had my husband fixed!
You’re right, It’s wonderful looking back, but it’s good to be where you are.
You’re essay is so beautiful and so are you! xoxoxo Mom
That was so beautiful and so devastatingly true❤️
This is a beautiful piece of work, you touched many hearts, and thats why we love you so.-mom-inlaw
I so relate to this!!!! I adored my baby years!! Really, really adored it, Was it crazy and stressful, yes, but it was an extremely sweet time in my life. That’s not to say I don’t love being the mom of a 16, 13 and 10 year because I do, it’s really fun too, and I know in 10 years I will be just as sentimental for these days, but I think I may always be a little wistful of those early days.
All these years are good years. But it’s not easy growing older and watching your babies grow…
A really beautiful memory piece. Someday I’m sure you will long for today–just a bit
Totally! I know I will.
Loved this, so true. With my little guy going to kindergarten in the fall, I am between thinking finally and awh, this is it …he’s growing up, last one, boo hoo!
Happy Mothers Day!
Exactly, stuck between ‘finally’ and “aw”. I think we feel that way about every milestone moment.
Maybe it’s just my current state, but this made me a little teary thinking that I am about to dive headfirst into your nostalgic days.
Get ready baby. It’s a wonderful place to be. xo
I have big age gaps btwn my kids. Eldest is an adult, then at home I have 5 more, ranging from a teenager to not yet two.
And I already miss the baby stage.
That’s sweet! I think I’d be too busy to even think! 😉
Don’t worry, Mama. As the children get older, their orbit spirals much bigger but you are still the center. xo
Oh I hope so!!!
What a beautiful mom and boys. I hope your mother’s day was sweet!
Almost at that stage! I still have a 4 yo and you know they they are LOL. The 10 yo though, how he has changed! You are so right, we need to keep up with them. Chop chop mama! 🙂
Chopping away!! 🙂
And now I’m into grandkids. My own, not everyone else’s . . . oh who am I kidding? Everyone’s grandkids!
ha! so nice!! every stage is wonderful!