Slowing Down Childhood

Nothing makes the days stretch on and months fly by more so than being a mother. Some days seem endless. Yet somehow, you shut your eyes one night and the next day you wake up and another season has passed.

Before I was a parent and even the first year, I was always thinking about what comes next. Always looking forward to what laid ahead. Not always appreciating the chapter I was in. This is so easy to do when stores put out bathing suits in January, Halloween candy in July and Christmas decorations in October. Target needs to just chill!

The first year of Adaline’s life, I would find myself saying, “I can’t wait until she rolls over… crawls…walks…sleeps through the night (she still doesn’t do that, so ha on me).” or “I can’t wait to dress her up for Halloween, Celebrate her first Christmas” and so on. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being excited about things in the future and looking forward to them. That’s part of the fun of being a parent.

Here’s the thing. When my daughter turned one, it was like a slap in the face. Somehow through the sleep deprivation, dirty diapers, long nights and endless snuggles and love a year flashed by. It made me wonder. Did I spend enough time relishing each moment of that first year? Or was I too focused on what comes next. Too focused, and let’s be real, stressing about whether or not she was doing things on time and whether or not I was parenting correctly per the books I read. (That will be an entire post by itself one of these days).

After her first birthday in April, I made a mental challenge with myself to truly appreciate our current seasons and chapters. Changing my language from, “I can’t wait until…” to, “I love how right now we can…”. It made this Spring and Summer so enjoyable. Not that we wouldn’t have had a wonderful time anyway. But, I am constantly making an effort to notice the little details of each day and it’s helped me to appreciate the beauty in the mundane.

This Spring, I marveled at how the blossoms came out. I relished walks with my three girls, Adaline has two fur sisters. I was able to watch the trees go from bare, to blossomed to full of green leaves. See the grass turn from brown to green.

This Summer, I have loved playing in the yard. Finding shade under the trees. Looking at how the different trees and their leaves look when the breeze is blowing. Gingko trees are the best I’ve decided. I love the way their leaves seem to shimmer when the wind blows. I’ve sat and just paused and thanked God for blessing me so abundantly while Adaline colors with chalk. Something so simple, yet so beautiful that I get to experience.

These are things I would miss if I continued to constantly obsess about milestones and focusing on what my daughter isn’t doing yet. By the way she’s met all of them in her own time and it’s been wonderful. I would have missed these minute, but mighty details of our days if I was stuck only looking into our future.

I encourage you to pause for just a moment today and really soak in everything going on around you. What do you hear, see, smell? What is your child doing today that is just amazing? I’d love for you to share with me what you are loving right now, today!

This is a girl who knows how to live in the moment.
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10 Comments on “Slowing Down Childhood

  1. Such a great reminder to enjoy the small, simple things about our kids. My son just turned two and I’m 35 weeks pregnant with my second. I will definitely try to say ‘I love how she’s doing this’ instead of I can’t wait. Especially since I know she’ll be different from her brother. 🙂 Great post!

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  2. I am always telling my husband this. We caught ourselves saying oh I cant wait until they sleep through the night and I can’t wait until they walk. Its hard not to say those things but I try to remember not to wish time away.

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  3. I’m shocked at how fast life goes once you’ve become a parent. And, I swear, with each kid, the time goes by even faster. This is a wonderful reminder to simply be in the moment and embrace it.

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  4. I’m shocked at how fast life passes you by when you become a parent. And, I swear, after each kid, it becomes faster! But, what a great reminder to appreciate the moment.

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  5. I so relate to this! My daughter just turned 15 months and I find myself more frustrated than ever sometimes and then she does something super silly and I find myself laughing and I always question if I’m stopping enough cherish all the little things that she’s doing. Definitely some mom guilt here, but thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone and we should all slow down enough to enjoy our babies while they’re babies!

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  6. This blog is so true! My son is 4 and a half months old, and I feel like he was just born yesterday! I used to watch for milestones, but now I’m trying to enjoy the moment.

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  7. “Days are long and years are short.”
    Very important reminder to all of us and non-parents as well. Thank you for reminding us about this today!

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  8. This is so true! We’re an interest-led homeschooling family, and a lot of it is because we want to give our children the space to be kids and for me and my husband to enjoy their childhood with them.

    We live in a city though, and trees aren’t common from where we are…but your description of the gingko trees and all makes me want to push all the more for more vacations outside the city with our kids.

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  9. What a great mindset to have! Just wait until she’s ready to turn 10! Well, that’s how old my oldest is turning. It’s so amazing to watch him grow into his little personality though. And you better believe I still make him sit in the grass and listen to the leaves blowing in the wind 😉

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