He's sleeping now (praise the Lord) and I'm enjoying a few snatches of peace and quiet. The funny thing is, whenever he's sleeping, I miss him. I'm looking around at the playroom with toys strewn around the floor and the half drunk bottle of milk that's dripping onto my already gross carpet, and I think where is the time going? How is it possible that he's already walking? He waves bye bye now and makes funny faces to get other people to laugh. He can clap his hands on demand and shake his head no. When did that happen?! His little personality is taking shape more and more everyday. It seems like just yesterday that he was a tiny newborn.
In the midst of those stressful moments when he's screaming in his crib and all I want to do is drink my coffee and read Isaiah in peace, I find myself almost wishing the time away. I tell myself that this phase won't last forever and that someday I'll have my time back. But sitting here now I'm wondering if having my time back is really what I want. When James is older and doesn't need me as much, am I really going to relish the time I have to do the things I want? Or am I going to long for these days when he's little and needed his mommy?
I'm one of those people who loves to think back on the past. I often wish I could go back in time and relive a day here and there. I know that's what I'll be thinking 5 years from now. So why do I wish my time away while I have it? Those people who say "Enjoy every moment while your kids are young" are spot on and insane at the same time. Not every moment is enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, I won't miss the version of James while he's teething and does nothing but scream all day, and it looks like there's no end in sight. Parenting is downright stressful sometimes and it's not realistic to think that each and every moment is one you'll want to cherish forever. On the other hand, always longing for a future day isn't healthy either. You could wish your whole life away like that.
What I want is to be completely present in each moment and to find joy even in the stress of parenting a one year old. When I look back on this time I want to know that I wrung every ounce of joy from every moment, even the hard ones. I want to remember how God gave me strength to climb back up that fragile rope and enjoy the time he gave me with my precious little boy. I guess I'll be learning how to do that one missed nap time at a time.