The days are long, the years are short.
My mom says this time flies by, but I mostly wonder how on earth I am going to occupy my toddler for two full hours before dinnertime.
This is the first of three weeks that I am with Luca full time. I’ve always been with him, but I have also had a little break thanks to daycare. A morning a week at nine months, turned into a day a week at 11 months, turned into two, or sometimes three days a week once he turned one. So it’s been a while since it’s just been him and me straight, and I catch myself wishing and waiting for his “school year” to begin in September so I can have some time (other than his nap time) to myself.
I also caught myself fighting back tears today in the waiting room as I read the editors letter in a parenting magazine. She talked about how her daughter cried every day when she went to pre-school, and eventually how she cried when her little preschooler left for college 15 years later. This mom reflected on how quickly time passes, and whatever stage we are currently in will be always shifting and changing, so it’s important to notice where we are today.
I’m sure I will look back on these toddler years as some of the sweetest times. The times where hugs + kisses were plentiful, when he would crawl into our laps with a book for us to read, when he reached out for our hands and held tightly onto our pointer fingers while strolling around, when he would point to the part of his body that he hurt and look for a kiss to make it feel better, or when he giggled with ridiculous amounts of joy with a little tickle, game of peekaboo, or hurricane of kisses on his belly.
If I plug into that, well of course I want time to move as slowly as possible. I want to savor it all. But mostly from the day to day I just get frustrated for feeling like I have no time for myself and can’t help but feel slightly trapped. I find myself wishing I could write a thought down without being interrupted, let alone read an entire newspaper article, or have a solid chunk of uninterrupted time for my charm & magic projects. It’s tricky to connect to myself when tending to a little being around the clock, it requires extra effort and a lot of devoition.
But I know this feeling will pass, and will come back, and circle around again and again. I know I am incredibly lucky to have all this time with him. I know time for myself is ridiculously important, and I will get it soon, and until I do everything can wait for a while.
So in the meantime, between breakfast and lunch – I’m going to remind myself how incredibly precious this longest shortest time is, and just like nap time… how fleeting it can be.
P.S. I did not come up with the phrase – longest shortest time, and I’m not sure who coined it necessarily, but I heard it from a great parenting podcast titled just that. Also, I think Gretchen Rubin said, “The days are long, but the years are short.”