Bittersweet Birthday Cake

From the second they place your newly born baby into your arms your life has changed. Not only because of the sleepless nights and endless diapers, but also because there is a person that you instinctively love more than yourself. I have received so much joy experiencing life through their perspective. Getting another chance to feel excited over the first snow fall or the last the day of school. Raising my children has allowed me to reminisce on my own childhood, to feel the magic I once believed in.

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Today my youngest child turned five. As I write it, I still cannot believe it to be true. It feels like the closing of a chapter that is bittersweet. No more toddlers running through the house with bad pronunciations and a desire to stay in the nude. No more little fingers pinching away at scattered cheerios, or toothless grins. No more wobbly feet desperate to walk and no more teeny, tiny hands grasping onto my pinky finger.

There are many things I will not miss from that era of babyhood through toddler-hood, but somehow those details fade to the background, slightly out of focus.

My youngest child is now five.

Now, here I am, navigating through parenting with their childhood fully bloomed, inflated with feelings of their self esteem, curiosity, stress, fear, ego, anger, just to name a few. As a mother, I feel as though somebody turned the parenthood dial up a few notches. There is more to it than just maintaining their life and teaching them not to bite people. I feel an innate urge to ensure they are each emotionally okay, despite the world of influences they face everyday when they step out over the threshold of our home.

“A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child.”

An accurate statement loaded with stress and heartache, which cannot be avoided. I know that in a few years, when they cross over to the next plateau of their life, I’ll probably look back and think how easy I had it. Tears and frustrations will fade and I will be in amazement of how fast time is passing and how bittersweet it is that they are minimally in my presence.

However, today I am working hard to make sure they have a childhood they can recall upon one day to fill them up with joy and reminisce the magic they were able to experience when they could rely on their mommy to fix their mishaps and make them feel loved unconditionally.

Happy 5th birthday to my last born child.

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Tick Tock

Time is a strange concept. We all experience it, yet it feels different for each of us. One year may be better for one person than another. A season or time of day may be preferred varying from one person to the next.

When I was a child, a week felt like a month and a month felt like a year. The minutes ticked by so slowly I thought Christmas would never come back again and summer was a faint and distant memory. I was always in awe of the concept of time, questioning my mother why the day felt so long and the nights blinked past us in a flash.

My mother had told me time is like a triangle. As children we all start at the bottom, traveling from side to side, which takes the longest. As we grow old, we move up the triangle and traveling from side to side goes by more quickly, until you’ve reached the top, when you find you can no longer keep up with the years.

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Well Mom, you were right! I have moved up the triangle and time is really picking up now. The pause button doesn’t work, there is no slowing it down. Another school year has flown by, summer is just eight short weeks and then we can all scurry around for another holiday season.

I understand this realization when I look at my children. They have become kids, past diapers and bottles. When did that exactly happen? An old photograph of them caught my eye the other day and it took my breath away. When did they change? I hope I really enjoyed holding each newborn baby, listening to each first word spoken. I pray that I remember their first steps and how it felt when they would rest their heads on my shoulder.

I hope I am soaking in every moment now that they are in grade school, letting their imaginations run wild and discovering the world they live in. I hope that I can capture their excitement and wonder, never letting a fleeting moment pass me by without indulging and fully experiencing it. I am aware of the importance of right now. 

The clock seems to be ticking by just a bit faster . . .

tick tick tick tock . . .

I Blinked . . .

I blinked. . .

When I opened my eyes I was responsible for four precious human beings. As they sit all in a row, they look like an image of a life cycle you would find in a magazine, infant, baby, toddler and preschooler.  One charming little boy followed by the three beautiful, graceful little girls adorned in pink with large bows atop of their silky hair.  During this time I was on my feet all hours of the night and desperately trying to keep up throughout the day.  I grew weary, filled with exhaustion, until my eyes felt so heavy, I blinked . . .

When I opened my eyes the eldest two children were standing tall, with their sacks slung on their backs, waving their small hands bye bye as they lift their foot on the step of the long, yellow painted bus. The two smaller girls were now running through my legs wildly, refusing naps, unable to be tamed.  Feeling overwhelmed, I threw my hands up in the air, exhaled all of my frustrations and I blinked. . .

When I opened my eyes I was rushing through the morning routine, preparing lunches and snacks, tying shoelaces and packing library books.  Chauffeuring the children from football and dance, muscling through to get the homework done.  Some days its hard, feeling like a personal assistant to four people.  I can get lost in the minutes of life as the weeks and months roll by. I find myself pausing a moment when I see my son reading to his younger sister or my daughters eyes sparkle with excitement and belief as the holidays approach.  My eyes begin to sting a little and fill with tears of love, and as much I resist and refrain from wanting to, I hold out, taking in the wonderment of how special this life is, until I can’t fight the urge any longer, and I close my eyes.

I blink . . .