Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Bitter... and the Sweet...

Time passes.

People stand there and sigh and tell you that "it goes so quickly" and you nod your head while pulling your toddler who is starting to wander off backward, by gently tugging on the belt loop of his little jeans, while simultaneously readjusting the baby who is balanced "just so" on your hip.  You smile at this well meaning acquanintance, while keeping an eye on the binky that keeps wanting to fall from your baby's mouth, making a mental note to put yet another "spare" into the diaper bag and remind your man to pick up another gallon of milk and some bananas tonight, on his way home from work.

Then you blink once.  Only once.  And you're smoothing down that silky cowlick, biting your lip because it's the first day of preschool and you're worried the kids won't like him.  Maybe they won't understand his meltdowns.  You take a deep breath and smile into his eyes, and tell him to have fun and mind his teacher, and then blink away the tears that want to come.

You turn around, and your last one is in school all day, just like a big kid.  You stand forlornly in the parking lot of the elementary school and watch as "seasoned moms" flash grins and shout greetings to each other because they know exactly what they plan to do with their whole day, be it work, errands or fun.  A few of them give you sympathetic looks and say encouraging things like, "It gets easier, I promise." 


And then suddenly you're here and you don't exactly know how you got here.  You should have listened a little more closely to that lady sighing and telling you how quickly time passed that day... that yesterday, which was actually so very long ago. Now you stand almost looking them in the eye.  You don't bend to hug them anymore, you simply lean in.  They smell of sweat and the great outdoors because they have been playing basketball down the street.  Their feet are the same size as yours and they keep stealing your shoes and turning up the music, and asking for something to eat.
You stand in the middle now.  Not wanting to blink because you know, but not being able to stop it from happening.  Crisply aware that you have spent more time with them than you have left.  Knowing it's only going to be a few more blinks until you stand there watching a young mom patiently deal with the meltdowns in a grocery store candy aisle, or see her juggling infants, toddlers and paraphernalia while running errands.  You know you will see the binky fall onto the Post Office floor and watch her roll her eyes.  Not long at all until you smile and sigh and say, "Oh how quickly it goes.... enjoy it..."

She will of course nod and slide the baby onto the opposite hip while reaching into her bulging bag for a rattle and you'll know she hears you but not really.  

Because you were her.  And it goes on... life goes on.... and how bittersweet are the changes. 


Today I am thankful for: 
A man who works hard so that I can have my dream job
The rare sound of making up from two hoodlums
School clothes, ready to be worn in less than a week
Plans


**Don't forget to check this post out and get your coupon code!**

33 comments:

  1. Oh Honey... We all knew "that lady" -- and now... I have become her. You're so right... it happens in one BLINK. And about those ladies in the parking lot that say it gets easier? I'm not so sure. I think they're a little delusional -- or perhaps just in denial so you don't see THEIR tears.

    Have a great day. Do something special for yourself. xo ~Sal

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  2. Oh, this made my cry! Someone made a comment to me about toddlers and I realized that I don't have any toddlers left, even when I thought the toddler stage would last forever. They are all growing up on me. Hugs. :)

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  3. Love this, beautiful shots of your babies., Mine just started kindergarten on Monday :(

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  4. So true. Trying to embrace the now with my crew, from the almost-11-with-rather-persistent-bad-attitude right down to the sweet little 1 year who is starting to run. Where has the time gone? And I fear I haven't made the most of it.

    I pray I am also the experienced mom who reaches out to that young mom with an encouraging word, an offer of help or a cup of coffee and a dose of fellowship. Because this motherhood stuff is hard.

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  5. I love this! Mine is now turning 14 next month and is taller than both his parents and feet bigger than his parents. I tell me husband all the time what I would give to go back to when he was 4 years old so that I could love on him more and more. As he gets older he doesn't want mom kissing on him and instead I am thankful for the I Love you mom's I get everyday on the phone. I must be thankful for that as time has gone by and he is a growing into a man!

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  6. Beautiful post Sasha - so true! I think time is spinning faster than it did when I was a girl so the days and weeks and months all blur into one if we don't the time to slow down and be mindful and present and there with those we cherish!

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  7. I totally just had this conversation with a mama to 4 littles, struggling to get through the grocery store.

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  8. I am there right now...time is like sand slipping through my fingers. I can try to grasp it but the time doesn't stand still. I find myself longing for those "hard" days with toddlers! I am learning to appreciate and cherish each phase...the good and the Challenging! Just last night I was watching my boys run and play in our sprinkler system...realizing in a few short years they may not want to do that anymore. Just drinking in and trying to remember and cherish all the special everyday moments with them!

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  9. So true! I blinked and then just took my youngest to college less than a week ago.

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  10. Sasha, Thank you for putting into words the words that my heart feels. I packed my oldest up for Kindergarten last week and at the end of the day when I picked her up she looked at me and cried. She said she just wanted to be home with me. I turned quickly to keep her from seeing my heart break. Time is slipping away. But that is the way God intended. We love them, teach them and let them go. Far sooner that we want too.
    Have a blessed day!

    Rita @ www.ferrytaleshome.blogspot.com

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  11. Sooooo true Sasha. We sent off our son to high school today, and our daughter to 4th where my husband teaches fourth (how cool)....and I feel EXACTLY the same as you. When did this happen. I pick up my 9 year old from time to time and hold her like I did years ago. She is very petite, so it's easy, but I just never want to let her go. Why does life flash by so quickly? I need to start REALLY living!

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  12. both of mine are going to preschool this year. i will have two mornings a week by myself. it will be so weird. i feel like mine will be as tall as jj and ava tomorrow. time is certainly bittersweet. love these pictures and precious words. xoxo!!

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  13. Sigh. It is sooooo stinkin' true!!!! I am getting ready to celebrate three of the five births that I've had!!! My oldest, turning 22! TWENTY-TWO!!!!! My next, SEVENTEEN!!! And number four of the five will be a stinking TWELVE YEARS OLD!!!! My baby just turned NINE in July is it's my last single digit kid, forever! Two driving, college, two in the teen years and a baby who isn't a baby anymore. It's crazy!

    This brought a tear to my eye. How do we stop it?? HOW?? I guess we keep documenting, slowing down, breathing in the gifts and goodness and do our best to warn others <3 Not that they'll believe us!! lol

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  14. I'm right there with you Sasha. I blinked and suddenly my baby is a senior in high school, and will soon be 18. My others are speeding their way right behind him - 15, 11, and 10. I find myself staring at them, studying them, trying to store away precious memories. I remember people saying those same words to me and oh they were so right. Blessings to you and your beautiful family :)

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  15. But just think of all the memories that tomorrow has you you all. Great pictures.

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  16. Oh so true. I often think of all those ladies who said the same to me, and now I say it to others. (just hoping I don't look as frumpy and old as those ladies did to me then) beautiful photos.

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  17. Oh I am so right there with you..... It all goes by way to fast. I had a really hard time when summer ended this year and I think it is because I countdown how many summers I have home with my sweet kiddos.
    Beautiful post....thank you!

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  18. *Sniff* Great post! So true, and I'm in the infant, toddler and first grade stages with my three kiddos. I just want to soak in every minute of their precious youth before it slips through the fingers, and then there's a poopy blowout to remind me how I hope to enjoy their maturity when it comes, too. ;-D

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  19. That's so true. I can't tell you how many times I've smiled at a harried young mother and thought exactly the same thing. My 'babies' are 16, 14 and 11 now and it's really hit me in the past 6 months that I need to cherish my time with them because it's flying by faster than ever. Beautiful post.

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  20. Sasha, your words beautiful, just beautiful. I'm on the brink of having my only child go to school all day every day for the first time ever and it is so bittersweet. Sweet for him that he gets to grow in his independence, developing who he will become as school child, scholar & friend to some lucky kids. Bitter for me that he is growing up and that this is the start of it all, the time where he will be spending more time in a week with his teacher and school mates that with momma. It must be how God feels at times with each of his children too when we spend more time at work & school than we do with him, our heavenly father.

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  21. Such a great way to capture the changes as you look back. I am only at the preschool age, but I already realize how fast it is speeding by. I love the way you put it here though...thank you for sharing.

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  22. Friend you hit the nail on the head with this one. Because I have an only child, every first is also my last. I am the only parent in the middle school parking lot crying on the first day of school. There are days that, when I see a baby, or a mom and her little headed to the library, that I have to go to my car and have a good cry. I miss those days. Having her home, making lunch together, putting her down for a nap at noon, all of it. But then I remember that, grieving for the past takes away my joy of having her here today and tomorrow and forever. Thanks for the post. Susan

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  23. Sweet story and I am now the mom that tries to encourage the mom with toddlers or teens that it is only a season. We are new empty nesters and that my friend is another story all together. Big adjustment.
    A and J are growing up before our eyes. Beautiful snapshots of your beautiful hoodlums.
    Hugs to you

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  24. You expressed what I am feeling so perfectly. Dropping our son off at college last week and returning home without him in the car seemed to happen overnight...but, you are right..it was less than overnight...it was just a blink.

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  25. Oh man this brought on the tears. My girl is in first grade and my boy is going to be in three days a week preschool (only half days), and I feel the heaviness of my limited time with them...but at the same time there are days where I could lit.trally. lose mah mind. Thank you for blessing me with this post.

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  26. This made me cry this morning. My "baby" is heading into 1st grade. How did we get here so quickly and how to hold on to both of my babies a whole lot longer......

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  27. This made me cry too. I have a 5 month old and 21 month old and most days feel pretty overwhelmed. Trying to enjoy it before I blink and it's over! :)

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  28. Really?? You had to go and do that now!! Now at this time of the month when my oldest within the last few weeks passed me in height and shoe size? Oh I understand and the lump in my throat hurts...the days that seemed to hold me fast when I could not see the light and felt I never would again are now memories and I cannot believe how fast it really does go...and I feel shame for wishing it would go by just a bit faster and now I can't slow it down....ahhh! I understand!

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  29. So beautifully put! All of those exact sentiments are on my heart right now, as I just sent my youngest to all-day school. So glad to know I'm not alone!
    Thanks!!!

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  30. This is perfection. You have managed to put into words what is in my heart every year at this time – when I wish I could turn back the clock and slow down, to watch and immerse myself in every second. If only it were that easy in the midst of buying diapers, running kids to practice and mounds of dirty laundry. It can bring me to tears just looking at a photo of my now college age children and I can't remember the outfit that first day of school, or the sweet sound of their three year old voice.

    I wish I could say that being aware of the brevity of time makes it slow down, but alas it seems to go by even faster once they get into high school. And college flies by in less than a blink because you are not with them everyday. Even though I find myself telling the new moms the same thing I heard, " enjoy it because it goes by so fast", I also love this new chapter of watching my children become independent adults and adventurous college students.

    Thank you for capturing my attention this morning so that I can stop and smell my still sweaty ninth grade boy , knowing how fast these next years are going to fly by. :(

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  31. Every once in a while you need this reminder, time really does fly by so fast, and I want to badly make it slow down. Thanks for sharing.

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  32. This is such a beautiful post! I am newly pregnant (11 weeks!) and have been feeling really unwell (headaches, throwing up, all that fun stuff!)...I have been impatient, waiting for time to pass so I can start to feel better. Those that know, my close friends and family, keep telling me it will all fly by, before I know it I will look back longingly on my pregnancy and miss these special days. Feels hard to believe sometimes but I am sure they are right. Your post is such a good reminder for me to enjoy the current season of life and not rush it! xo

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