Motherhood - Never at any other point in your life are you offered so much unsolicited advice.
Something about having kids in tow while standing in the grocery store checkout gives permission to any and everyone to give their (I like to believe) well-meaning two cents.
So there I was, yet again, unloading my cart of groceries onto the conveyor belt as the kind woman checking me out said, “Why isn’t that such a handsome little guy?”
Why thank you stranger. I’m obviously biased which means I know I have the cutest kid to ever grace his presence to this whole wide world. He’s just adorable! I completely agree.
But it’s the next comment that I wish no one would speak to me as a mother in the midst of just celebrating my son’s first birthday.
”Enjoy every moment. They just grow up too fast.”
I try to appreciatively accept the reminder but what that lady doesn’t realize as she finishes checking me out is the little switch that she just flipped.
See here’s the problem with the constant reminder of “Don’t take the baby stage for granted. It goes by so fast.” I understand why they say it and perhaps I will take every word of this back when I’m waving goodbye to my son as he leaves home for the first time.
But...right now...in these moments as I rock him to sleep in the crook of my arm because he still fits there and I watch him belly laugh over a simple game of peek-a-boo...
Those words haunt me.
I swear I can feel my heart physically aching as I think about how fleeting these moments are and I question how many more times I will get to sway him to sleep. I am then immediately overwhelmed by guilt because I also want nothing more but to lay him in bed so I can go sit on the couch and just stare out my window while soaking in the silence.
I desperately try to keep snapshots in my mind of all his little firsts while I balance the intense desire for more sleep and a relaxing bath.
This juxtaposition of wanting nothing more than for time to stop while wanting time to move a little quicker leaves me in a constant state of whiplash. And having experienced pregnancy loss in the past just amplifies the constant roller coaster of hanging on every moment while feeling guilty over the times I don’t feel as appreciative.
So trust me kind lady at the grocery store...I am painfully aware of how quickly my boy is growing in these days that sometimes move so very slow and I am trying with every part of me to enjoy these moments instead of dreading how quickly they will be gone.