I can't tell you the number of times I hear from people, "Enjoy every moment, it will be over in the blink of an eye!" I'm sure you've heard it, too. I hear it all the time when I'm chasing after my toddler, and passersby (who are already beyond the raising-toddlers-phase of their life) always seem to ooh and ahh over the wonder of raising young babes. Half the time I want to roll my eyes at them, because I'm usually working with exhaustion, a smattering of stains across my clothes ("Mommy, mud!!! Wheeeeee!"), and dealing with the defiantly fun word "NOOOOOO" that cannot be contained on my child's lips. When I see someone nod knowingly in my direction and prod with obnoxious tenderness, "Treasure every moment", as if the experience is an angelic and precious excursion into the Heavens above, I usually have to hold my tongue from being like, "treasure WHAT?"
But you know what. Those annoying people are right.
I went into Everett's bedroom last night to take a peek at him before I got into bed myself. He looked so big. I don't know what it is about when he sleeps, but he always looks older and somehow wiser to me from the slumbering position. He's got a protruding belly and socks on his feet and is surrounding by a zillion stuff animal (his "babies"), and somehow this is always the moment I can see into the future on his behalf. I see him in high school playing sports, I see him graduating and going off to college, I can see him becoming a man and being a gracious, thoughtful adult. I can see him as a father and a husband and he's so good at it and it just makes me want to cry. I know, heavy moment for just peeking in on his crib slumber with a crowd of stuffed animals. But I promise I can see and feel that his future is big and bright.
I think God lets us mamas have glimpses into the future like this because he knows it gives us the ammo to keep going. On the day-to-day basis, I can't always see the trajectory of how my being a good parent is really helping shape him. I don't know if the way I'm disciplining really works, I don't know if he's learning enough from me, I don't know if he's absorbing the gratitude for this gift of life enough from watching my experience. I don't if what I'm doing is enough! But when I think about what I do know about my son, and I'm reminded of the big, beautiful person he is becoming and that his future is brighter than the sun and he can accomplish anything in his heart, I am able to regroup. It gives me a serene sense of focus and ability.
I'm so lucky to have Everett. It's such a privilege to be fostering his precious soul and teaching him all the good things I know in life. But you know what? He's teaching me so much too. He is hilarious and good-hearted and sensitive and yet still so strong. And his opinions are so big now, I am daily laughing out loud at his strong convictions.
Everett loves wearing tank tops and that baseball cap, will ONLY wear that one pair of Nike tennis shoes (I have to keep cleaning mud off them daily), and refuses to eat vegetables if he can see them. Pizza is good in his book. He loves coloring and watching Elmo and dancing with Mommy around the kitchen while I fumble the tune to "Once Upon a Dream". He loves "making" me waffles in his playhouse outside, he hates it when his pants ride up, and needs to play ball everyday. It doesn't matter what kind of ball, he doesn't discriminate. But he has to throw a football, kick a soccer ball or make mommy play basketball (because he can't shoot high enough to actually make a basket, I've got to get him a little rim of his own!) every single day. He is ALL boy. He naps so well (finally!) loves the color green and is the chattiest person in our family. The other night he woke up in the middle of the night, and just had to tell me about the woodpecker outside. He really wanted me to set up a bath outside, near the trees, so that woodpecker could get a bath just like Everett. He was so upset, he HAD to let me know this information, at 1:45am. Side note - we have a woodpecker that I yell at every day to get off my house, and Everett has become fascinated by him. And he says woodpecker like "pa-pep-perrr", it's the funniest thing to hear.
This child. He's a handful of energy and fun and thought and hilariousness. The people are right - treasuring every moment is what I need to be doing. Because right now, he is what I'm doing. And right now with him is my favorite.