My baby girl is 4..
This morning we had a swimming lesson and as I watched her standing on the edge of the pool – her chunky little legs (that look just like mine in miniature), my Nanny’s curly hair and my husband’s beautiful olive skin – brought a smile to my face.
As I watched her try to relax in a supported back stroke, an overwhelming sense of loss came over me. Memories of her ran through my mind like a silent movie. I saw her sleeping in bed next to me curled in my arms, I saw her crawling around the bedroom playing hide and seek, I saw her first wobbly steps on the wooden floor in the dining room, her chasing the cat so that she could love her, her covering herself and the walls in Sudocream blissfully unaware of the mess she’d made and I saw her waking me up in the morning with a massive grin on her face.
The reality dawned on me, the overwhelming sense of loss and sadness was because it is nearly over.
Our boy is 7, I don’t know how that happened. He has grown into a lovely thoughtful, sensitive, inquisitive and caring little big man, but that time.. where did that time go? He is no longer my funny, excited little boy flashing his bum in the garden or sitting on Daddy’s lap pretending to drive the car. He is no longer the little baby that would sleep soundly for twelve hours a night and wake up smiling every morning and he is no longer a chatty toddler talking about everything and anything.
There will be no more babies for us, I feel broody and a little sad sometimes and I still catch myself looking wistfully at friends babies but I know that now isn’t the time for babies, it is the time to spread our wings as a family and to rise to meet the next phase in our lives.
I guess the point of this post is that when you’re in the midst of the small, demanding child juggling act; caring for their needs, being up all hours to comfort them in the night, feeding them, changing their bums and their beds. When you’re in the middle of the supermarket and your toddler is rolling in the floor screaming because you won’t buy the mini babybels you know they won’t eat when you get home. When it is the middle of the night and you’ve tried everything you can to soothe your small baby and when your head feels like it might explode and each minute feels like an eternity.
The reality is that its all over far too soon.
So when that lady in the shop says to you:
“I know it might seem hard now love, but try to enjoy it, it’s over too quickly”
and you want to tell her to buggar off because you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel through the matchsticks that hold your eyes open.
Take a deep breath, repeat the mantra “this too shall pass” and savour every second, even the ones that make you want to poke your own eyes out.
Because this too shall pass, and this precious time doesn’t last forever, it’s just a small piece of the beautiful, colourful tapestry of our lives.
My girl is 4, In September she will be starting school. I’m really not sure I’m ready.