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What Happened to All the Moments?


I heard the door open and her little steps scurrying to the side of my bed.

Though my eyes were closed I could sense that the sun had cast its warm orange hues on the walls of my room.

I rolled over and my eyes fluttered open to meet the gaze of my three-year-old.

“Mama,” she exclaimed, “Is it time for breakfast yet?”

Between the look on her face and the way she said those words, I was startled to reality.

What happened to my baby? What happened to my toddler?

I remember those nights of trying to squeeze in two hours of sleep between feedings. I remember yearning for the day that I could sleep a full seven hours without being startled awake. Now that those days are here I wish I had enjoyed those long nights of snuggling and holding her.

As I poured the cereal into my daughter’s bowl my mind wandered to a time when I sat across from her and scooped spoonfuls of rice cereal into her eager mouth. It seemed to take forever for her to eat everything. I recall imagining the day that she would be able feed herself. Now that those days are here I wish I had savored those quiet mornings with her.

As I watched my daughter pull her clothes out of the drawer and dress herself, I recalled how I had battled with a set of snaps every time I had to change her. The monotony of buttoning and unbuttoning her pajamas made me yearn for the day that she could clothe herself. Yet now I long for the days of snuggling her warm body in a fuzzy onesie.

As she played with her trains on the living room floor, I recalled the moments when she would lay on her back and swat at the toys suspended above her head. I remember eagerly anticipating the days that we could play together. Now that she can play independently, she doesn’t always want me to join her. How I wish I had enjoyed those explorative activities.

As she ran down the sidewalk to our car my mind went to the time when I had to carry a twenty pound bucket car seat down the same stretch of sidewalk. My arms ached and I longed for the days that she could walk to and from the car by herself. Now I find myself missing those moments of carrying her.

As she pretended to read to me, I reminisced about the days of having to read the same story over and over because she liked it so much. I recall imagining the day that she would have an interest in more than one book. Yet now I find myself missing that excited look on her face when she realized that I would indeed read her favorite book for the eighth time in a row.

As I tuck her into bed, I’m overwhelmed by the memories of lowering her into a crib. I remember how my back would ache and I longingly imagined the day when she could crawl into bed all by herself. Now that the crib is gone, I wish I had lingered more and that I had soaked in the beauty of putting my sweet baby to sleep, every single evening.

“Goodnight,” I said softly as I kissed her on the forehead.

I looked into her beautiful eyes and saw the eyes of my baby looking back at me. I remember the first time I held her in my arms and when our eyes met I dreamed of this moment…

“Goodnight Mommy. I love you,” she whispered.

I went to bed and as my eyes closed I realized that all moments fade into memories but the love between a mother and child will endure forever.

"All moments fade into memories but the love between a mother and child will endure forever."

 

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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, Deliberate Homeschooling and regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care. 

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