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!