My first born turned five this past week. Five! And I am sitting here wondering, how did that happen? Wasn’t she just a baby? And weren’t we both just struggling to survive her first few weeks of life? Which I remember like it was a day ago. And now, here I am, turning into one of those sentimental nostalgic mommies telling her not to grow up so fast.
This birthday more than the others is a milestone for me. When she was born, I thought a day like this fifth birthday would surely never come. Because being a mom for the first time was both the best thing and hardest thing to ever happen to me. The beginning is just hard. The days are looong and nights even looooonger. Figuring each other out and teaching each other how to be. The constant nursing, lack of sleep, diapers changes, and crying baby is all so consuming. It is hard. And impossible to imagine anything except the stage you are in during that moment.
But somewhere along the way, the days sped up. Now I feel myself pleading with time because it is all going too fast. Five years later, my sweet Savannah Grace is all too grown up, and I want to hit the pause button for a moment longer. To remember her at this stage. Right now.
That song, Slow Down, by Natalie Grant, it hit me like a ton of bricks, y’all. My feelings about my kids growing up is that song in a nutshell. So what can I do about them growing up? Absolutely nothing. They will continue to celebrate their birthdays, learn to ride bikes, out grow their shoes, get their driver’s license, go to prom, graduate college, get married and so on.
But what I can do is be intentional about my time with my kids. Making the most of our days together so when I look back to say, “Wow! That went fast.” I can also say, but look at all the adventures we had and all the memories we made along the way. I choose to make each day count with my kids, (generally speaking, of course, there are exceptions and terrible days; we all have them) and not let reasons and excuses get in the way of making a memory.
The number of children I have, the fear of a tantrum in public or the amount of work required to get three little people out the door, which is no small feat, will not get in the way of me making it count with them. Because one day my kids will be grown, and all I will have are the memories we made. So let’s make sure that this time thing, we so badly want to slow down, is time well spent.
So go ahead and eat ice cream for dinner in the summer, have a water balloon fight, stay up late eating s’mores around the campfire, take your kids to that movie they are begging to see, take a family walk in the evening, swing a little longer at the park, and read an extra bedtime story. Those are not the moments you will look back to regret. Make it count. Be intentional.