Apr 11, 2013

The Time Escalator

Every night when I tuck the kids into bed it hits me....they are getting bigger every day.  I know most people are already aware of this, but somehow I get accosted by this reality every single night.  And it makes me ask myself, Did I enjoy each moment to the fullest with my favorite people today?  Because if I didn't, my focus was wrong.  They will never be this age again.  And trust me, I've already started trying to go back down the up escalator looking for that lost time.  Funny thing happens though, you can never go back down - only up.

I try hard to remember what Gavin's little squeaky, high-pitched voice was like at three and four when he was asking me such hard questions about life such as: what makes a light bulb work, Mom or what would happen if I got sucked into a tornado?  Try as I may, I can only hear his current voice in his deep baritone octave telling me about his recent troubles in trying to simplify monomials.

Oh how I would love to go back and have one more chance to hold baby Chloe.  I think I held her on my hip for 2 years straight when she was a baby.  She never wanted to be put down.  But now I can't remember what she felt like in my arms or how sore my back used to be.  I would pay money to have that sore back again if it meant I could hold that soft, cooing, wiggly baby in my arms again for just 5 minutes.  But the escalator only goes up.

I would even be willing to go back and relive every single potty training episode we encountered with Bennett if it meant I could hear his deep little voice again that repeated everything in triplicate and feel his wet little chin that was never dry from constant drooling.  But alas, it always remains just out of reach and only in my memories.

Ah, to go back down that escalator sure would be nice.  When our biggest problems were sharing our Rescue Heroes or deciding who should be Batman and who should be Superman.  When everyday began with cuddling on my bed and reading 10 Berenstein Bear books.  

But this is now my current reality.  I realize one day I'll look back on these ages with the same longing I do their younger years.  And I'll wonder, did I play enough with them?  Did I sit and listen to their dreams or their days?  Or was I distracted?  Did I stop what I was doing, give them my undivided attention and enjoy that exact moment with all my senses?  Because I know the escalator only goes up.  If I try going down while they are going up, I miss all the life that's going on now right in front of me.  I can't live life in the past.  But it sure is fun to remember it.  It's kind of like labor, you only remember the joy of holding your precious newborn and all the pain it took to get to that point seems to be a moot point.  

If I could encourage young parents in anything it would be this: enjoy the moment.  Invest in your children while they are young.  Spend time doing what they like.  You can't wait to start teaching/training them until they get older, you won't have that raport with them.  The important things don't just happen when they're older.  The most important things happen every day: time together - doing the mundane, living life together - learning how to work together, disagree agreeably, play together.

The escalator only goes up... enjoy the ride.


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