As my youngest daughter’s fourth birthday is quickly approaching, I am finding myself taking time to reflect on the milestones we have passed and recognizing we are moving into a new stage of life.
Some things I have held onto a little bit longer the second time around. With my oldest, every new milestone is exciting, a challenge, something for us to figure out together. With my youngest it holds a different meaning. It is not only a new stage but it is saying goodbye to the old.
I know I can be a bit ridiculous at times. Even though she was fully potty trained before 2 we still had her little potty in the bathroom until last week. It was only when she looked at me and was like “When are we getting rid of that? I don’t need it anymore.” That I even realized I had been holding onto it as a symbol of her quickly fading babyhood. I am more likely to carry her even though I know she is fully capable of walking. I am slow to correct her that the word is actually “nickname” because it is so adorable to hear her say “pickname” (and it kind of makes sense since we do pick them!)
She has been a good reminder for me to not rush either of my girls through the stages. It is OK if they need a little more time to learn something. It is OK if they need a little extra comfort before they are ready to be more independent. Soon enough the cribs and potties are packed away. Soon enough the days of sitting on the floor playing pretend (you know, the kind where they dictate everything you say and you can never quite get it right?) end and they are off with their friends. Soon enough the stroller is gathering dust while they run or bike beside you.
It is easy for me to get caught up in the busyness of our day to day life. It is easy to be looking ahead to that next milestone. Some days that is what gets me through when things are particularly tough-the reminder that this too shall pass. But I need to remind myself, that though there are tough moments, it is important to remember the good ones too. For me, that is originally started my 365daysofaworkingmom posts. I started with taking daily pictures. They are either highlights from my day or reminders to myself of the craziness of my life, and has now evolved into this blog. My methods of reflection may not be for everyone, but that is OK. For me, it is not so much about the method as the outcome. As someone who thrives off of being busy and is very goal orientated, it has been important for me to intentionally take moments in my day-for me and for my family.
So tonight I will take a little longer to cuddle my girls. Next week I will shed a few tears when we sing happy birthday. This summer I will let that load of laundry sit another day so we can spend our weekend at the beach. I may not be able to slow down time, but I can make the most of it.