Tuesday, February 9, 2016

three years

As soon as you get pregnant, everyone has their piece of advice to share. Asked upon or not, you are now the student and they the teacher (though some think expert) and their wisdom is something you need to be imparted with - cloth diapering vs. using disposable, wood toys vs. plastic toys, breastfed vs. bottle fed, wearing your baby vs. using a stroller... So on and so forth until your head spins and you actually consider smacking the old lady in the grocery store who thought it appropriate to give you her two cents in regards to your large, heavy belly and the already daunting task of motherhood.

The one common denominator, though, the one piece of advice everyone will agree upon is "that it goes by so fast."

They all say it. The ones with the three month old and the ones with the thirty year old. "It goes by so fast."

And it does, yes. I can attest to this. With a three year old and a ten month old, I know it to be true. So much of my day is spent looking at these beautiful, growing babies wondering how on earth did we get here? Here! How do I have a three year old and a ten month old? How? When?

But when Uriah turned three, the overwhelming feeling wasn't that of swiftness and fleeting moments and both awe and disproval at the passing of time. Everyone claims that "it feels like just yesterday I was bringing him home from the hospital..."

But I'm calling bullshit.

Surely, they're all lying. Or at least fifty percent. Maybe thirty? Either someone's lying or, for the first time in three years, I've reached a stage in motherhood that I am alone in.

When Uriah turned three I didn't find myself feeling like it was just yesterday I brought him home from the hospital. No. When Uriah turned three it felt like it had been three years since I brought him home from the hospital. Maybe even longer. Is that possible? It didn't feel like yesterday. I could remember that day, and I loved that day and long for those first hours again, but I looked at my growing boy and felt the weight of those three years. They did not pass by unnoticed. They did not disappear. They were there. Each long day, each laugh, each adventure, each milestone, each timeout, all the guilt, all the tears, all the joy, all of it. It felt like it had been three years. Three long, hard, exhausting, wonderful years.

But that just added to that awful, famous mom guilt - If time flies when you're having fun, was I not having fun? Should I have enjoyed it more? Is it even possible to have enjoyed it more than I did? Am I a bad mom for admitting that those three years were hard? Long? Am I really supposed to feel like it was just yesterday?

There are days Uriah probably thinks my entire job as a mom is to ruin all his fun - make him clean up the Legos, take a nap, go to the bathroom, wear pants, eat his meat (gosh, mom's so mean) - and days he's ready to hang a medal around my neck before bed because I put two chocolate chips on his plate at lunch, skipped grocery shopping to spend hours at the park, read one extra book before nap and let him splash in the bathtub after dinner.

See, he has good days and bad days and so do I - we're sorta figuring this thing out together. I was born the same time he was, in a sense. I'm teaching him and he's teaching me. We're new at this - it's only been three years, after all - but I think we're doing a pretty great job.

Because all of that stuff, the nagging and the discipling and the monotony and the silliness and the messes and the adventures and the games and the smiles and the love... It all makes for a really full, hard, long, wonderful three years. And maybe it's ok that I see all that when I look at my three year old. Maybe I'm the lucky one, to feel such a heaviness on my heart when I see his bright blue eyes sparkle in my direction. I've been looking into those beautiful eyes for three years and not one of those days has been lost on me. Good, bad, long, hard, easy, fun, wonderful...

It feels like I brought Uriah home from the hospital three years ago.

It's already been three years?

It's only been three years?

It's been a good three years.

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