This Is it
Some days it hits me that the biggest achievement of every day is getting to bedtime. Some nights the biggest achievement is getting to morning (and coffee) because even with very little sleep at least things look a little better in the day light. But that this is it. Getting from night to day to night to day is it.
That’s all there is.
And some days this is a very overwhelming thought that the aim of each day is to just get through but you know what keeps happening? Another day pops up in its place! I feel like time is an unrelenting force, days are like waves crashing over me one after another after another, it doesn’t stop, it doesn’t wait, it doesn’t let me catch up on sleep, or housework.
But at the same time at 5:45am when my day begun and it is stretched out in front of me I often think “this day is never going to end” – and I guess at the moment when my life is on the 24 hour clock of night feeding baby the day doesn’t really end so much as blur into the next. It’s not like before we had kids when Night and Day were two clearly defined chunks of time, separated by an alarm clock.
We had another round of teething last week and after one particularly unsettled night, that evening putting the kids down to bed I couldn’t believe it was still the same 24 hours.
And yet, yesterday my tiny newborn baby boy started preschool (he’s 4 years old) and next week my baby girl starts nursery (she is ten months old going one day a week just so I can catch my breath) and while I was there talking to her teachers another mother comes in with a one week old baby, and the teacher is talking about how much her 17 year old weighed at birth like he was born last week also.
So I’ve had a mini-epiphany (this is not new or news but I feel like I’m starting to *get* it). That if each day keeps coming, one after another, and really there is no grand prize at the end of this, the prize at the end of parenting is my babies will become adults. With a subtle change of inflection I can shifted from feeling like “this is it…” to “this is it!” this – THIS – right now, is all there is. I have two beautiful healthy children, who love me and need me (lots) who will get older, and sleep through the night, and not need me so much. Who I won’t need to carry around all day and night until my arms are sore and my back is aching. And when that day comes, I’ll look at someone else’s one week old baby and sigh and think “it feels like only yesterday”. Though I’ll try not to tell anyone to cherish this time, because if the best I can manage is to just get through each day, then that’s okay, but if I can find enough moments to stop and think “This is it. This is what it’s all about.” Then how much nicer is that.