Sometimes, when some of my friends with small children are on the verge of a meltdown, I will say things like ‘this won’t last forever’, or ‘honestly, this phase WILL pass’. I’m concerned that they think I’m telling them to suck it up and count their blessings and enjoy the insanity of these moments. But I’m not – I’m throwing them a rope, and letting them know, on the day after they’ve finished reading a blog of PerfectMama and how her children play harmoniously and build tree forts, knit hats for their brothers and sing Kum By Ah a capella in front of the woodstove and turn around to find their toddler has smeared faeces – actual FAECES – over the sofa, that one day it will all be better. Just hold on, mama, one day this mind-melting chaos that you think will be your life forever will so very soon be forgotten, and your children will be trying to kill you in altogether more infuriating ways which may not even include bodily fluid. I wish somebody had told me that; in fact, they probably did but the delirium from sleep deprivation meant all could hear was ‘MUUUUUUUUUUUM’.
You know that saying ‘the days are long, but the years are short’? Yeah, well it’s true.
The other day I was flicking through, well Flickr actually, and I was taken aback by how little my children looked. They have changed so much. So much. I know how tired I was back then, but my body can not feel the effects anymore; I know I was probably nagging the eldest about things, but for the life of me I don’t know why. I know my children moaned about one another, but dang it sounds so cute now.
I wish I could go back and get one more smooch of those cheeks. I wish I could go back and tell me to get off my eldest’s back. I wish I could go back and tell myself to stop sweating the small stuff, and that the stuff I thought was big was actually quite a cute thing that they’d grow out of; I wish I could go back and get more photos, tell them how awesome I think they are, or how much I love them.
And then I realise that one day I’ll be wishing the same about these moments too. And I’m giving them extra hard cuddles and smooches and hugs and telling them what good boys they are and how much I love them. Because I do. And I can. And one day these will all be a memory.
It really will.