When my children were little, I would hear the old cliches...or sayings...over and over...from my mother and mother-in-law, from strangers in the grocery store, from neighbors with older kids. Usually these were stated after I voiced a frustration or rolled my eyes from being flustered. But sometimes just stated by strangers with a smile and a shake of their head when they would see me out with all 3.
"They grow up so fast."
"Hold them while you can."
"The years you're raising children will fly by."
"They're only little once."
"Enjoy them while you can....
they'll leave the nest before you know it."
And it would make me cringe. Because I was up to my eyeballs in diapers and laundry and Cream of Mushroom soup casseroles. And the days seemed long and monotonous and repetitive and full of chores and I would fall in bed exhausted.
The weekend couldn't get here fast enough. Not because our social calendar was full of exciting things to do but because Chuck would be home to help me!
I certainly didn't wish for my children to grow up fast...but in the middle of those first few years of their lives, I was sleep deprived and there was always someone to be changed or fed or rocked to sleep. Or bathed or dressed or taken to the doctor. Dishes to be loaded or unloaded, clothes to be washed or put away.
Not to be misunderstood, I did love my babies...more than anything! I just loved my sleep and there wasn't much of that for several years in a row. So when I think back, it seems the days were somewhat covered in a sleepy fog.
And time didn't feel like it was flying then.
The baby will be 21 in a few days. The baby that feels like I just brought home from the hospital. The baby that meant I had 2 in diapers at the same time. The baby that was number 3... meaning Chuck and I were outnumbered. The baby that made me relinquish all control to God. Finally.
But it was.
But it was.
The baby...Will...whose childhood really flew.
I talked to the baby last night and we talked about how many days until he was 21.
He asked me if it felt weird that all my children would be over 21.
Yes. It does.
And those sayings that made me cringe turned out to be so true.