I woke up today to this Trace Adkins song (yes, I know, I never listened to any country music before moving to Alberta but it's practically a requirement to be a country fan here) and the wheels of my mind began turning as I tried to wake up and focus on the words:
"You're gonna miss this/you're gonna want this back/you're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast/these are some good times/so take a good look around/you may not know it now/but you're gonna miss this."
The verses describe life with small children in all of its chaos, frustration and on-goingness. Many days there is a feeling of just barely hanging on, trying to survive and get to the other side of the early years of raising children. There is a relentlessness to the days and nights; it becomes easy to lose perspective on how short this time really is.
A few years ago I read a line that said, "With young children, the days are long, but the years are short." On the eve of William's 4th birthday, I can confirm that this is true. There were many times in the last few years where I felt certain I would never make it out alive. I was too exhausted, angry, afraid of my own short fuse and walked-on to be a person in my own right. Then one day I slept through the night, had a cup of coffee, poked my head up out of my rabbit hole and saw that there was a beautiful big world going on around me, and I had the energy to step out into the light and join in.
For those who are still in the bleary-eyed days of diapers, high chairs and midnight cries from your little ones, one day it will all be behind you. You will wake up to your country music station and get a little misty-eyed about the best parts of those days. Like childbirth, you'll remember the best parts and your subconscious will mercifully spare you from recollecting the traumatic bits.
Today I'm going to pay attention to the way William's tiny hand feels in mine when we cross the street. I'm going to focus on the sound of his piercing preschool voice instead of tuning it out. No stage lasts forever, good or bad, and we must be present in the middle of it to properly commit it to our memories. Today I plan to take a good look around since it's all going by so fast.