(Henry and me 12 years ago.)
I was up rocking a sick Beatrice. 3:30 in the morning... 4:30...5:00. I was exhausted, dreading the busy day ahead with no sleep and lots to do. I found myself looking down at my sweet baby's face, daydreaming of my bed, and the spirit whispered, "This part is nearly done."
It hit me. It is almost done. I have rocked each and every baby all through the night multiple times. I have wiped, bathed, and dressed sad sick little babies more times than I can count. I have prayed over their tiny shivering frames, imploring the Lord to let them settle and rest. Over and over.
When Henry was tiny, everyone always told me how fast it went, how much I'd miss it, all the missives every mother hears from their elders. I took it deeply to heart. Panic that I was wasting my time with him filled me. Rather than be afraid though, I resolved to live the baby stage to the absolute fullest, so that when the time came, I could look back and be sure, I didn't waste it.
I've not been perfect. I missed things, I didn't revel in every moment, but I tried. Every baby, every time, it goes faster. Every moment, every first milestone appears before I'm ready.
And here I was rocking my big eleven month old caboose, certain that it has all gone much too fast.
But. I'm not sad. I'm wistful a bit, but what I really am is grateful. I'm thankful for my babies, for their babyhood, their health and growth. I'm grateful that I got to experience that miracle seven times.
Beatrice will be one in exactly one week. I'm totally blown away by that fact, yet totally unsurprised that my babe is so big. As she grows, I thrill to each last first. I'm not entirely ready to move on, but luckily time doesn't care what I want. It simply marches on, and we celebrate.
I'm so thankful that while this part is nearly done, the spirit continues to soothe my soul. I was determined to live this stage as fully as possible. Yes I've failed, but isn't that part of the ride too?
Don't be afraid of time passing. Just do your best. Relax and repent when you fall. Whether one baby or twelve, it goes too fast. So just love them. Everything else will work out.
I'm often out and about with just my two babies. Grandmothers remind me regularly that it goes by much too fast. Now, instead of the cold fear of, "what if I don't cherish every second?" I felt seven babies ago, I smile and say, "I know."