Recently we finally got around to putting a lot of pictures on our digital picture frame. My husband, myself, kids, and even friends find ourselves standing in front of it reminiscing as the pictures go by. Pictures, which in this digital age had been forgotten about, brought so many memories back to life. At one point my husband actually cut me off because I couldn’t get enough of the cute baby cheeks and began obsessively missing the baby/toddler versions of our children today.
The next thing I know I’d gone down a trail of the “if onlys” and “what ifs” (never a safe path to travel down for long.)
If only I had taken the advice of those around me and cherished those long cuddles in the middle of the night. What if I had spent more time making memories instead of focusing on whatever seemed so pressing and important at the time? If only I could go back and steal those moments once again.
But then with a little help from my husband, I am pulled back to reality. It’s okay I didn’t cherish every sleepless night when my babies were little and even every little moment now.
We as parents are often in a place of feeling out of our elements. When you are constantly feeling like you are being stretched or learning how to manage a new phase it is hard to take in every sweet moment.
My children were such terrible sleepers as babies that I actually watched an entire season of a show with my husband only to sit down the following year when a new season had come out and actually could not recall what had happened in the first season or that my husband had watched it with me. Maybe it’s okay that a part of me is still grateful for a full night’s (or close to that) sleep. Sure there were lots of cuddles and I miss that new baby smell but I did the best I could at that time.
When my children are fighting relentlessly or I am cleaning up vomit off the carpet, I doubt I will ever wish I had cherished these moments. Chances are I will not regret savouring that last time I scrub a car seat after a child gets carsick. What I will remember though is that feeling of being glad I can be there for my kids when they are sick, sad, or scared. It can be an incredible feeling to know you are your children’s safe place, at least for awhile.
There will be many lasts. But there are many more firsts to come. None of us can tell the future and what is to come. All we can do is our best each day.
Mistakes will be made. Memories will be made. Babies will grow. New adventures will come. Life is funny like that. Unlike a picture that can freeze time and hold a memory, life is continuous and ever changing.
Let go with me just a little and maybe we will be surprised what pictures are yet to come.