I feel totally ridiculous. If you have been on Facebook at all the last few days I'm sure your news feed has been filled with pictures of your friends kiddos first day of school. I don't know why I'm so bothered by it this year, but seeing all of these kids getting on the bus and venturing out on their own makes me want to bawl my eyes out! I know a lot of parents have a hard time with the first day of school. It's an exciting time, but also a reminder that another year has gone by. Mark it off the 18 short years we get with our child and we realize time goes way too fast.
The reason I feel ridiculous is because my son is 21 months. Yeah, I know. I'm way too far ahead of the worry game but it's made me realize that this time I have with him is SO special and so short. He's only my baby for a little while and someday (sooner than I want it to be) he'll be getting ready for his first day of school and this Mommy is going to be lost without her sidekick.
The way I explained this to my husband was this. I've never felt "good" at anything. I've never been a star athlete. I got good grades and loved my major in college but I never used it. I wasn't ever the girl who all the guys had a crush on, or every girl wanted to be best friends with. I've felt pretty average my entire life. And I'm okay with that. But, then I became a Mom. For the first time in my life I felt like this is what I was created to do. I was meant to be a Mother. I have embraced Motherhood and I never thought I would love a child the way I love my son. My tear ducts have been in overdrive since he's been born and my heart actually aches sometimes when he gives me that smile or hold his arms out and says "HUG". He is my heart. His Daddy and him are my world and I have no idea what I did to deserve them but I'm SO thankful God blessed me with these boys.
As I sit here at nap time looking at these pictures of kiddos going off to school I'm reminding myself to enjoy this time... the toddler years. They are filled with lots of trains, tractors, trucks, baseball, basketball and walks outside. They are also filled with a little guy who is finding his independence but he can't always figure out how to tell us what he needs/wants. My days are sometimes long and exhausting waiting on my husband to get home so I can take 5 minutes to myself because I've been tested over and over. And then there are nights that I want to hold him for hours and just watch him sleep. I rock with him and listen to the lullabies sing him to sleep and I pray over him thanking God for this incredible person that I get to call my son.
My time with him right now feels like he'll be my "little man" forever. School is so far away. I know that isn't true though. So, I'm taking advice from some Mommy blogs and friends. I'm going to slow down. Enjoy the little things. Let him get dirty. Play in the rain because he thinks it's hilarious. Read 20 books if he wants to. Let him help me vacuum... even though it takes much longer! I'm going to fill our days with happiness and laughter, because there will be days when he's older that it's harder to come by. I will quiet my anger when I feel the urge to burst, and I will love him harder when he disobeys instead of getting angrier. I will remind him every single day that Jesus loves him and wants to be his friend. I will tell him every day that we love him and we are proud of him, even when he's not having a good day. Because as a family we love each other no matter what, and we love harder through the hard times.
He's learning. So am I. We are learning together. He is teaching me to be a Mother as I am teaching him about life. I don't have all the answers and I'm not the perfect Mommy. We don't have the perfect marriage, the perfect house or the perfect life... but I am thankful for it all anyways. Today I'm cherishing the moments I have when my son wants to give me snuggles and kisses and tell me he loves me... cause I know those days will come to an end too. That, my friends, is what breaks me and causes the tears to fall. Watching our babies grow up is hard, but it's one of those things in life we can't control. I'm praying for all the parents who are struggling with sending their baby off to school this year. I'll be there before I know it, and I know that day will be a tough one. Change is tough; but watching our children grow into who they were born to be is pretty amazing too.