In My Heart...On My Mind...

I'm rather afraid that this post may come off as very disjointed.  For, I've really no idea where to begin...and even less of a clue where I'll actually end up.  This subject has been so prevalent on my mind seems that most of my waking moments are colored over with some shade of its influence.  It's affecting nearly everything I do...everything I say.  It's making me intentionalize my actions {if that isn't a real verb, it shorely is now}...making me analyze my motives.

Yet, when it comes right down to it, I'm not even sure how to put the thought, the subject, the concept into words. 

I've been struck by the sheer brevity of my time with my children.
The shortness...
The lack of time I really have with them.
In a a mere twinkle of an eye, they'll be grown.  They'll be "big people" all on their own...

And yes, I know I'll still be Mom.
I'll still be able to love them.
And {hopefully, prayerfully} they'll still love me.

But it isn't the same.
It just isn't.
You know that.  In your heart of hearts, you know it's true.
And I do, too.

And yes, of course there are days that seem like years...
Days in which no one is happy, everyone is quarreling, three heads of long hair are tangled, a picky boy can't find anything he likes, diapers are soaked through, Legos become mini-landmines, laundry forms seemingly insurmountable peaks, the last roll of toilet paper runs out...and I think that if one more maple-syrup-sticky-hand touches me I might just go insane...those sort of days.  But, wise is the one who said, 
"The days go by so slowly...and the years so fast."

I have today...and the next day...and the next day...
But one of these days, those "next days" will come to an end.

And I won't have my lanky, toothless, nine-year-old begging me to take her to the library {"...the library is one of my favorite places in the world, Mom."} ...she'll have a driver's license of her own.
And she won't be poring over the shelves of Nancy Drew mysteries...she'll probably be more interested in the latest fashions or the newest electronic gadgets {can you even imagine what they'll have come up with by then??}
And I won't be having a nervous breakdown because that same girl is trying to earn her Cooking then she'll {hopefully} be able to boil water without making my heart race.

One of these days, I won't have them begging me to read Narnia...

He won't want to play with cast-off bricks in the back yard...

She won't plead for a Tea Party with Daddy...

And she won't suck her toe in the middle of the kitchen floor.
{wait...that didn't come off nearly as sentimental as all the rest of them, did it?}

One day that time will come.
And I know it needs to.  I know that that's the cycle of life.  I know my children should grow up.  They should go out on their own.  But not today.
Today I should hold them close.
Instead, I found myself constantly sending them away.
"Mommy has to package this up, baby. Go watch a movie."
"No, not right now.  Maybe later."
"Go play."
"Mommy's busy."
"No.  I can't.  I don't.have.time!"

All.The.Time...sending them away.
All too soon, they will go away.  They'll be off to college, off to jobs, off to marriages and careers and children of their own.
And I'll be left with my empty nest.
And I'll wish that I could dress a dolly, or read a book, or find a missing shoe, or kiss a boo-boo...
Or just hold them.

I've had an awakening...and now that my eyes have been opened and I've seen it, I can't un-see it.
I realize that TODAY is the day to take her to the library.
TODAY is the day to let her cook dinner.  {Help me, Jesus!}
TODAY is the day to read to them.
TODAY is the day to set her a Tea Party.
TODAY is the day to pull their warm little bodies against hold them as long as they'll let have them be the first to let go of a hug...
To relish the warmth, and the love, and the TIME that I'm able to INVEST TODAY.

Don't get me wrong...
I realize that life requires balance.  I know that it can't be all fun and games all the time.  And if you know me, you know that I'm in exactly 0% danger of that happening.  I'm out-of-balance the other way.  I err on the side of caution...on the side of responsibility...on the side of duty, of sensibility, of seriousness.

I have so much more to many more thoughts that are roiling in my brain.
But I don't want to overload.  I don't want to heap so much on the plate that it's too much sweet and too much savory all at one time and it simply cannot be digested.
Besides, I can't handle it all at once.
I'm still so fresh in this learning process.
But it's wonderful.  It's so fabulous.
And the best part is that I know I'm growing.  I've seen actual change in myself.
I can sit for a half hour or even an hour, reading to my two oldest, without wondering what's going on on Instagram.
I can eat at the lunch table with all four of my littles and just talk to them and listen to them and that's enough.
I can lay on the couch, cradling their still-nap-warm bodies, and soak in their closeness, their still-baby smells...and I can stay like that until they want get up and going.
I can actually make eye contact with my almost-five-year-old when she's chattering on about something that really makes no sense whatsoever...and when she's done and she sees that I'm still paying close attention to her, she smiles that smile that scrunches up her cheeks so high that her eyes close and gives me a leg hug.

So, now, this is the school known as Life...
And your assignment is this:
TODAY...not tomorrow, TODAY take the time and                                                                  with/for your child/ren.
You fill in the blank.
And do it FOR THEM.  Not for you.  Not so you can post a picture of this wonderful thing you did with that a bunch of "strangers" can tell you what a wonderful mother you are.
{I know, you would never do that.  But I have.  I'm guilty.  I'm the one raising my hand.}

I promise you'll be happier for it.  Promise.
It's SO worth it.


  1. oh erin, this was so eloquent! it totally spoke to my heart, and how could it not? we all feel that slipping away of childhood. i will do what i can today to embrace my littles and not allow responsiblity (even theirs, like homework) to steal all our sweet moments together. thanks so much for sharing your heart on this.

  2. Erin, this was tremendous! Cherish the moments - you never know if a hug from your child is the last....

  3. hello! i'm visiting from mama marchand's blog and can i just tell you that post was such a fantastic first impression. your words are ringing true in my head and heart right now. it's such a beautiful and simple life we have can have as mommies but we sometimes muddy it with stuff that can wait or stuff that really isn't important. love love love your heart! babies are the best :)

  4. oh and i totally laughed out loud at your little girl sucking her toe. classic.

  5. Erin, you are so right! Blink your eyes, and they are off and on their own. You will NEVER regret the time you spent finding out who your children REALLY are and what they are REALLY about. Down the road a few years you will realize that the time you spent knowing them now will strengthen your relationship through the sometimes rocky teen years, and form a bridge to get you through to their adult years. Keep up the good work, Mommy, and enjoy those littles while you can.

  6. This is a FABULOUS post, my friend. I love your heart and your honesty. Best line of it? "Not so you can post a picture of this wonderful thing you did with that a bunch of "strangers" can tell you what a wonderful mother you are." AMEN.

  7. I have only just found your blog. I absolutely love it. I have 4 kids too. I feel the same way & I have to actually focus on not mourning the old days & focus on today. My oldest boy is 16 & I am proud as punch, but it seems just yesterday I bought him home from the hospital. I adore him. I just wish he would stand still for one second. Ha. Come visit me sometime if you like. I love to 'meet' you. Love Niki

  8. I am in tears... for you see my days of holding and rocking have passed and oh so quickly.... I hold on in my heart all the little things that filled our days when we were all home together when they needed me most..... and so I smile knowing that they are happy and on their way to wonderful lives of their own because maybe just maybe those little things that used to fill our days reaaly have made all the difference in the world! Hugs to you and you littles!

  9. My 15 yr old daughter reminds me every day of how quickly my 3 youngest girls (2, 2 and 1) will grow up. Recently, I found myself so scared of missing something I was missing things. I've had to constantly remind myself to "live in the moment". Your quest for balance is admirable and inspiring!

  10. I found you on IG, via someone else's IG "likes" - etst maybe? It doesn't matter. I came here and read this today and it's just..... YES. Exactly. I need to finish that craft with my almost 4 year old, that has gone unfinished for at least 4 months now. I need to play, really PLAY, with my 2 year old. And I need to savor the quiet moments with my 8 month old, who is too rapidly growing.
    Thank you for your words today.

  11. Precious .... I am a mom at 40. She was my first and it took one of years four rounds of fertility treatments. I've been a full-time career woman and real estate Talk about taking a backseat and trying to enjoy every minute without feeling the guilt and overwhelming sense I'm neglecting other


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips