Sometimes, especially while they are sleeping, I just stare at my kids. Not a creepy, stalker, over-bearing mom stare, but the nostalgic, longing, almost sad stare that comes with realizing that they aren't babies anymore.
It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle. The "eat your carrots!", "stop hitting your sister / brother / the cat!", "if I have to tell you one more time to pick that up...!" days sometimes seem to outnumber the real, truly meaningful ones.
Don't get me wrong... every single second I have with my kids is meaningful. It's just that sometimes, I stop and look at how things are today and wonder where in the hell the time went? It seems like only yesterday, I was a basket case because Home Health had to come visit my 4-day-old to place her under bili lights. Or that I had failed my son miserably because I chose not to breast-feed and then had to play the 'formula juggle' just to find one that didn't make him look like a cooked lobster (actually, I still agonize over that one). It seems like only yesterday that I was on that operating table, praying to God that my youngest would come into this world healthy and viable and that she wasn't too early.
The time will come soon enough where they won't want me to pick out their clothes. I won't be the first one they come running to when something makes them happy. They won't care if I sit down for a meal with them. They won't cry out my name and come looking for me when they get hurt.
I long for the days of sleepy babies on my shoulder, drool puddles left behind. Tiny baby socks to keep those tiny baby feet warm. Those little chubby fingers holding onto mine during a middle of the night nursing. Nursing. Cheering for the first steps, first waddles... the crash on the diaper covered bottom. Baby belly laughs.
But, I do, at least, know enough to cherish what I do have... right now. Those 'just a little less chubby' fingers, rubbing my cheeks as I kiss her good-night, just because she knows I like it. The kiss on the cheek and a reassuring "Mommy, I love you" out of the blue, for no reason at all, because he just understands 'my' needs sometimes. That every time we take an outing alone, my oldest will turn to me and say, "I love hangin' out with you, Mom. You're fun."
I have so many hopes, dreams, desires for them. But, not too soon, ok? Let's just enjoy today because we have it. And for now, I'll let them be little.