My children are now five and two – one is in their second year at school and the other is in the nursery part-time while I work. They have not been children for a while. Although it is infinitely easier now and I can not say I lack the intensity of the early days, I feel a bit sorry for coming closer to a time where I will not be needed and searched pretty much at all.
It's not the big things that get me, it's the little things.
While I know they are still young (and demanding!), In recent years, they have shown themselves at such a pace that the things they grow out – from clothes to toys to sweet mispronunciations – hurl on me. In the chaos of daily life with them I'm out and I'm breathless and keep up with how fast they change.
Last night, when I helped my crying little child from the bed he suddenly saw how big he had got – how tricky he was to lift up. When my older son helped to lose the shopping last week, he could now reach the other shelf in the fridge – but I do not know when he got so high. And yesterday when we talked, he taught me: about stars and the moon and the speed at which our world circles the sun.
I'm not a brilliant mom of any stretch. I'm afraid of my newborn, I'm inconsistent, impatient and sometimes, when both my boys scream and are completely unreasonable, I open the closet and whisper swear words into it.
But while exclusions really apply, I love these days. I love my children who are small, innocent and unintentionally hilarious. I love crushing hugs and lying next to warm sleepy bodies – sloppy extremities threw over me and content, dreamy breaths on my neck.
I love how special to do nothing much together can be.
Like kicking through leaves, playing with bubbles and boogying in the kitchen. To leave chores and stir to blow off the cobwebs in the park – "Right, faster, again!"
But I can not stop the years from passing by. I can not keep my children to myself. I can not stop those who gradually grow away from me.
So I guess all I can do is enjoy this time:
Continue running and jump and play. Captures, falls, stays on and drops. Trying, failing, hugging, loving – and doing everything again the next day.
I breathe in the perfect happy moments I'm lucky enough to share with them, so I can remember how hot little hands feel to keep my mind and how the heart is filled every time we snuggle around with a favorite book.
I'm going to bottle up the little giggles and happy screaming, the comic grumpy faces and the sweet explanations of love. The times that changed me, those moments that cemented our bond.
I pinch them securely in my heart so that one day – when my house is clean and tidy and there are all day stretches where no one needs me, I will pull them out.
I'll look back and I remember what we were so long ago. The stupid, crazy days that slipped so fast.
Over and over, YL x