Why I want more “ordinary moments” in my life this year

Just a few months ago, I was startled with the reality that my first born child, whom changed my life forever when I became mom on July 4, 2005, had turned 10, and was now over halfway along the journey from childhood to adulthood. Just a few months later, my youngest, who I was able to cling onto as my child still young enough to be in preschool, started Kindergarten.

These milestones had the effect of creating the very real, very aware feeling that I’ve been being warned about, by just about everyone, since becoming a mother:

“They grow up so fast.”

No longer could I say I had super young children. No longer could I cling to the belief that it was a long, long time away before my kids would be all grown up.

It is, indeed, the single biggest fear in my life.

That, one day, and a day that I can now see will come in some not so far distant future, I will no longer have these bright, beautiful souls in my everyday life. Making noise and chaos as they rush into the house, home from school. Chasing and pushing each other as they hurry to the counter for Saturday morning pancakes. Sitting around the coffee table with a new board game. Cuddling next to me on the couch for a special movie. Leaving their backpacks all over my “space,” borrowing my stapler and just about every office item and not returning it, leaving granola bar crumbs and wrappers all over my car. It’s all part of the territory. And one day, I will miss it all.

My beautiful children will be growing up, leaving my sphere of influence, becoming wonderful adults that I will continue to be proud of. But no longer the laughing, crying, playful angels that inhabit my beautiful home.

This is, for me, the most precious stage of parenting I can ever imagine.

These ages between 5 and 12, when they are no longer babies & toddlers, but not yet independent teenagers. They are full of love, capable, and can interact and participate in life like they are my best friends, yet not too involved in their own ambitions or social life to seek out more privacy or time away from the family. They are budding balls of energy that love most to be together, with each other and the family, on a free day – creating, making up games, playing with one another and us parents.

And it brings me, near to tears, thinking that I have now arrived, and it is only, for a fleeting jaunt in time, that I can treasure it and be in it.

I think of all the things that I want to teach them. While they are little sponges absorbing all I say.

All the influence that I want to share. Before they are too busy with their own lives that they create.

The pure joy, in being part of another human’s life so intimately.

It is all fleeting. It is all temporary. It is all here and now, and nowhere else.

It’s not that I want to be with them all the time. Even on our amazing travels through Europe last year, I missed time for me. I am always, forever, seeking balance in my life. Even knowing this time is limited. Which is why it is so important that I recognize the time I do have to be with them, and am fully present and mindful of what a gift it is.

What a gift I am given, and can show them, by paying attention. Listening. Being their friend. Being the mom I want to be. Being playful. Being present. Feeling full.

It is in the everyday moments, that I can most soak up the love that I feel, for being a mom right now.

It is these simple moments, that I cherish every day.

And it is these smiles, faces, and laughter that I will cherish forever.

But especially, now.