Something I've been thinking a lot about lately is how fleeting this time as a young family is. Everyone always says "it goes so fast," and "just wait-- they grow up so fast." It's so easy to nod and say "I know, I know." And then dismiss it.
But when I take a step back and take a look at the big picture, at the span of our lives, and how few years our kids really will be at home...it's a bit staggering. We will hopefully have many years to know our children as adults, but only a handful of time where they will be under our wing and in our home.
So I'm trying to cherish these days, cluttered though they are. Laden with trains and cars, finger paintings and Sunday school papers. Sticky with peanut butter, Popsicle juice and yogurt. I've decided I can live with smelling like spit-up on a daily basis, and having wet spots on my clothes from the morning on. I guess I can even live with our adult time in the evenings being interrupted over and over by a small person who just wants to "tew [us] somefing." Something like, he had a scary dream (last night I noted that this child had not yet been to sleep, and Jeff said: "Feel free to have a scary dream after you've gone to sleep.") Or he is scared of a lion. Or he has yet another owie.
In her book "Celebrate Home," Angie Peters writes: "We should embrace this time, hog it, enjoy it, use it, make the most of it, indulge in it like a chin-deep bubble bath that won't be so luxuriously hot or bubble-full forever." And she's right. Because from the moment our little ones are born, they, and us as parents, begin the process of growing apart.
So bring on the baby vomit, the teething, the crying jags. Bring on the wonder of experiencing life for the first time...all of those firsts. I'm going to relish watching my boys laugh at one another's silly jokes, love on their baby brother, explain to me with painstaking detail what happened in the story at Sunday school. And I'm going to remember that when they invite me to play, it's an honor. What a privilege to be invited into their world of wonder. Because one day soon...these days of sticky hugs and kisses will be over.