Cherish the season of motherhood you’re in…whether babies, preschoolers, school age, or teens. Unlike the seasons outside your window, the seasons of motherhood never return ~ except in our memories.
~ Mary Steinke (from Motherhood One Day at a Time: Daily Inspiration for Moms)
“Savor these days…” If I’ve heard that phrase once, I’ve heard it a thousand times! Time goes by fast, I know that now. And even when my children were much younger, I tried my best to savor each stage. In fact, I started this blog, in part, to savor moments and memories with my children. Because, before I know it, they’ll be on to the next season of life.
Nearly five years ago, before I was blogging, I took this advice to heart and sat down to capture in words what I savored about the specific stages of each of my three children. After reading the above quote just the other day, I immediately thought of that “savoring journal entry” from January 2, 2008. Curious to remember how I felt then, I dug it out (from within the cavernous files on my computer!), and savored that stage all over again…a season of motherhood that has already too quickly come and gone:
I’m savoring this unique stage in my life as a mother…three small children at three distinct stages: one in grade school (kindergarten), one in preschool, and a baby. Yes, I am busy. Thankfully, though, God has given me perspective.
I am thoroughly enjoying Brennan, the baby…even the night wakings don’t bother me like they did with the first two. He is our last, so I’m savoring that time with him. In fact, it’s one of the few times to be with just him, without another child clamoring for my attention. The cuddling, his smiles and coos and baby noises, the way he clutches on to me and hugs me when I pick him up. I know these days are far too short…I know I’ll miss having a little baby (the good so outweighs the struggles!).
Micah, age 3. What a joy it is to watch him growing into a “real little person” – with thoughts, ideas, reactions, and so many words. He is just taking in life. It’s so fun to see him in a “formal” setting (preschool) for the first time. He just had his first school program the other day and we were amazed to see that he knew all the words and the hand motions! Somewhere, somehow in the past six months he has gone from being a toddler who struggled to put words and thoughts together to form complete sentences (and when he did, I was the only one who could understand him!) to being a little boy who not only can speak in comprehensible sentences, but who really has interesting thoughts and ideas to share. He really has a mind of his own!
I can’t believe my oldest is in kindergarten! There were days that this milestone seemed light years away! As much as I’ve anticipated this stage of life (I LOVED school and couldn’t wait to experience it again through Kiersten), now that it’s here I’m suddenly aware of how quickly the years pass. Already Kiersten is 6. She is 1/3 of her way through her years here at home. She’s now in school…no longer at home with me all day. She’s in an environment that seems a little less under my control…making new friends whose families I don’t know, hearing and learning things from friends I’m not ready for her to hear and learn. There’s nothing major, nothing bad. It’s just that I’m now much more aware of what lies ahead. She is growing up. This is the beginning of her launching and having some independence. She loves it, she’s learning. I love her teacher and I love to watch her learn and hear about her day. There’s joy in the moment and the anticipation of the future, yet there’s a sense of grieving what is now gone. What I can’t get back.
That brings me back to the savoring of Brennan. I know how quickly they grow. In fact, I’m trying to savor all three stages. Babyhood with Brennan, preschool joys with Micah, and kindergarten excitements with Kiersten. How I wish I could bottle it all up. How I wish I could go back and enjoy certain stages more. How I’m reminded to enjoy and savor the now…it will be gone before I know it. How thankful I am that they are still so young and that I have three in each of these distinct stages.
I can’t believe that savoring journal entry was nearly five years ago! Kiersten is now 11, Micah is 8, and Brennan is a five-year-old kindergartener! Where did those five years go? Oh, I cherished and savored as much as I could. I even attempted to “bottle it up” by writing it down! But time still marches on. That season of motherhood is gone and will never return. I’m thankful for this journal entry of January 2, 2008. It only took a fraction of time to write, but it allows me the chance to remember and savor how I felt forever!