The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short
A little thing happened at the bowling alley last night. (Like the beginning of all good stories…Lol!) There was a crossover of life stages that caught me by surprise, but also brought a smile to my face (and a little tear to my eye too).
A gathering of work colleagues at our local KingPin Bowl Lounge, to celebrate a birthday. I said I would drop in, as it was near to the airport, where my oldest attends Air Cadets. (Have I mentioned that I am currently in the stage of parenthood known as “taxi driver”? Those of you in this stage too are nodding your heads in understanding and solidarity).
I also had my youngest son with me. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve felt comfortable that he would behave in public without embarrassment (and he acted like a complete gentleman…proud mama moment!)
“Little Boy” Time
One of our co-workers, who is currently on mat leave, was there with baby boy in tow. I immediately scooped up the little guy (because I am magnetically attracted to the wee little ones it seems, and…baby!). There I was with a 4 month old in my arms, watching my 10 year old shaking hands around the table like a little man.
I paused for a moment, realizing that I am truly at the end of the “little boy” phase of my life. How did that sneak up on me so suddenly? It’s not like he was 4 months old yesterday. Perhaps the dichotomy of the situation, comparing the baby to my 10 year old in the same sweeping glance.
And it didn’t help that someone said to me in that moment, “Aww, Tracey. You look like you want to have another one!”
There was a time I wanted more babies, yes. I loved being pregnant, and I love the baby years. My youngest was born via scheduled c-section, and I had been asked about having my tubes tied at the same time. I knew I wasn’t ready to close the door on that chapter of my life, but my then-husband convinced me that we were done. Little did I know then that “done” didn’t just mean “having kids”, but rather our marriage. But that is another story, for another time…
Long Days and Longer Nights
But I remember the long days, and those seemingly endless nights. Juggling a toddler, a newborn and a divorce was so trying, so exhausting. I measured time in minutes, hours between naps and feedings. Just hanging on until daylight seeped in through the darkness. Lather, rinse, repeat. Trying to make it through.
The only thing that kept me going day after day was that these boys needed their mother. We just hung in there together, through the tantrums and tears, the laughter and joy. Some days seemed to last an eternity.
Even now that my boys are older, I sometimes find myself longing for the day when they are grown and gone, when my life will truly belong to me again. (When I really get to decide “what I want to be when I grow up“). When I’ll get some real “me” time, to relax, unwind, not have to worry about who has what on which night! Life is so full of appointments, activities, errands to run, groceries to buy. There is never enough time to get all of it done!
But for that one moment, in a bowling alley of all places, time stood still. I saw this little boy in front of me, a baby not that long ago. Yet now he is turning into a young man, measuring up to my eyes in height. His older brother already towers over me. Barely 3 years left of high school and he’ll be off on his own adventures. And it happened in the blink of an eye.
Free Printable Quote to remind you
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“The days are long but the years are short.”
Never was that quote by Gretchen Rubin more real to me than now.
I hugged that boy a little tighter and a little longer at bedtime that night. And stole a few extra sideways glances at my oldest when I picked him up from Air Cadets, this tall young man. Not a trace of baby boy left. A big sigh from me…and a tear or two.
Time has gone from a slow burn, to lightning fast. But I wouldn’t change it for the world!
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