Time. No matter how tightly you try to clutch it, it still slips away.
My babies are becoming less like “babies” every day. In a few days, Isabel and Elliana will be 10 months old. In about a month, they will be the age Amariah was when I became pregnant with our third child. In two months, they will have their first birthday. And just yesterday, I was carrying them in my womb, relishing in the feeling of two babies moving inside me!
It’s so cliche, but really… where has the time gone?
Knowing that these are probably our last babies is making this whole growing up process a little more difficult this time around. I look at Abel and Amariah and think about how they have grown far beyond the point of being cradled in my arms or falling asleep on my chest, and I know that Isabel and Elliana are heading for that same place–and that there is no one following behind who will fill that void.
Early in my pregnancy with the twins–just yesterday (Ha!)–my mom said something to me that seems almost prophetic now. She said, “Make sure you enjoy every moment of being pregnant, because you may never get to experience it again.” I am so thankful for that simple but wise statement. Because of it, I was able to enjoy every moment of that pregnancy like it was my last–because, for all I knew, it could be. I was able to appreciate the fullness of my womb in a way that I never had before… and in a way that is now helping to satisfy the emptiness of it (i.e. my womb).
Similarly, I have been focusing on fully enjoying every moment of Isabel and Elliana’s babyhood, because as I watch it slowly slipping away, I know I can never get it back. I hold them on my lap and look into their sweet faces as their soft little hands touch mine. I know that all too soon they will grow beyond this; and, I wonder: Am I doing enough?
Am I doing enough enjoying to last a lifetime? Am I appreciating every opportunity I have to hold/nurse/kiss/touch/play with my babies? Am I enjoying enough?
A couple days ago I took all four kids to the mall. I can’t imagine why one young woman pushing a double stroller while guiding two toddlers through the mall would attract attention (Ha!), but we did. We seemed to be a magnet for kind-hearted elderly people that day. One gentleman approached us as we were about to leave the mall, and he said to me, “I have to tell you this. These are the best days of your life. I look back at my life, and I think, ‘Those were the best days….'”
I hope that, like that man, I can one day look back at this time in my life and say without regret, “Those were the best days.” I hope that I can know that I did the best job of raising my children–and enjoying them–that I could do. Time will keep on slipping away, and I’m okay with that… as long as I don’t let it slip away without me….