Finally! My two and a half year old is napping and my four month old is swinging away contentedly. Oh - with two hands the things I will accomplish! Should I load the dishwasher, prepare lasagnas for freezing or be self-indulgent and catch up on e -mail?
I peek at my baby one more time and think for a second that it is my first born. The moment is not lost on me as the chorused reminders of “how quickly it goes” are realized. I pick up my young daughter, sit in the chair with her looking at me and have one of the greatest communications of my life. As tears run from my eyes I remind myself how important these shared moments are.
When my son wakes, we all three take a walk. He wants to stop at the storm drain to deposit newly fallen acorns. In those thirty minutes I learn much about my son. Most importantly that he is a little boy, all traces of baby disappearing the day we brought his little sister home.
I reflect on our 26 months alone together and pray that I used them well. As I watch him I realize that I will always remember exactly what those moments of ours were. I know with certainty that nothing was lost on me and while I wish I had been better at keeping his baby book and his journal, I know that I inhaled every moment of the time we spent together. I want more time with each of my children at these ages. I want a solid two hours every day with each of them individually. Time on the bed with my six -month old while I play with her toes and kiss her cheeks. While I make her laugh with silly faces and peek-a-boo. To be alone with my son to tickle him and cuddle him and explain the answer to every question he asks me. To watch that beautiful smile spread while laughter escapes from that wonderful belly. I want the last block of time for the three of us to sit on the couch without interruptions like diaper changes and meeting nutritional requirements. To just bask while my son explores his new little sister, exclaiming at how “little and precious” she is. To watch while he “reads” a book to her or gives her raspberries as her tiny beautiful voice squeals with excitement.
I am reminded by every mother who has grown children how fleeting this time is and what a luxury it is to be at home with them. And so each day I will strive to capture these precious and shaping moments. So that when my children graduate, or marry or compete, I will have every stage, every bit of them with me.