These are the days so long it’s hard to understand why some say the years fly by.
These are the diaper days and bedtime battle nights.
These days that blur together because the nursings and nightmares leave but moments chopped together to make up a mama’s sleep.
These days filled with too many “No’s” and “Don’t touch that’s” to keep track.
These are the days where you need two extra eyes and four extra arms so you can feed the baby while you make spaghetti and fix the Lego masterpiece that the Evil Emperor Zurg just destroyed.
These are the days of endless snack fixing, spill-proof sippy cup spill cleaning, crumb sweeping, and exhausted weeping.
These days when getting sick feels cosmically unfair because kids aren’t a file that can wait on your desk or a project you can pass off. Because somehow you signed the 24/7 contract with no time off allotted as the CEO of your kids who need to run, play, eat, bathe, every day, round the clock whether you’re throwing up or not.
These are the days where your body is not your own. It’s the baby’s nourishment and the toddler’s comfort and the preschooler’s jungle gym, but it’s still soft and squishy because there’s no time to entertain actually going to a real gym.
These are the days.
These days where going to the grocery store or the bathroom alone feels like a luxury.
These days where all the wants and needs, whining and training make you feel like you can barely breathe.
Yes, these are those days.
But, they are also these days…
These are the days where you are a little person’s world. The prettiest, smartest, grandest thing they’ve ever seen and every day dream to be.
These are the days where they fight over who gets to sit next to you in the restaurant booth and want to show you twenty times the empty spot from their first lost tooth.
These are the days of tickle wars and endless kisses, of hugs tight around your neck and “I miss you, Mommy!” wishes.
These are the days that they actually want to hear you sing, to hold your hand, and gently twirl your diamond ring.
These are the days where hot chocolate and mini marshmallows make you the all time greatest hero. You, the Princess, the Mommy Queen.
These days where their eyes light up over dragonflies and kitty cats, bubblegum treats and cheesy goldfishes.
These are the days where you can squeeze their tiny buns and stroke their satin pillow cheeks, where you can learn the curve of their eyelashes by heart and watch their chest rise and fall while they sleep.
These are the days where your kisses have magic healing powers and little faces plaster mesmerized out the window at God’s drip-drop showers.
These are the days where finding worms and spotting rainbows are amazing feats to be applauded.
These days where you are the only one they want when they get teased, or poked, or prodded.
These are the long and trying, precious, time-flying days.
These days I far too often want to wish away.
But then I STOP.
SEE THE GIFTS ALL AROUND ME. And I want to unwrap them slowly and savor each sweet and sticky, salty nape neck, summer buzz cut moment before it slips away.
I want to laugh over lips dripping with watermelon juice. Memorize each sun-kissed freckle and coconut smell of sunscreen on skin ready to jump out, run free.
I don’t want to dread the long of these days that I miss out on the delight.
I don’t want to stay stuck in the haze that I miss out on being amazed.
I don’t want the pain and drain to be my main refrain.
I don’t want to erase these days when I could embrace these days.
These are the days that won’t last forever. (No days ever do.)
And I don’t think we’re meant to throw them away. Bemoan them away.
Yes, they are hard. I’m the first to raise my hand and say it!
But can we savor them anyway? Choose joy? Count gifts?
Let our children know that they are JOY? They are GIFT!
Let’s make sure that these days don’t pass slow or fast without our children knowing that in them their mama takes great delight.
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This post was updated from “These Are the Days” originally published on 5-27-14.
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