Once in a while, Tom and I stop off at antique malls to just look around. Looking at the bits and pieces of living from the past tends to put time in perspective. Most poignant to me are baby things. Baby shoes, in particular, hold an attraction. Many times I have held up an old, worn pair and wondered about the baby who once wore them. Running a finger on the little scuff marks on the bottom made by feet long gone, I wonder, who was the child? What did they become? Who was the mother who once loved that baby?
The other day, Emmy was not able to sleep during nap time. She has never been a napper, but I make her stay quiet for an hour in the afternoons to give me a break and to see if she might fall off to sleep for a little while. She was restless on my bed, so I scooped her up (not easy these days as she is so big.) “I just want to rock you for a little while,” I told her. So she buried her head in my neck like the old days when she was smaller, and I stroked her hair, and we just rocked for a time while the world went by. I glanced over at my bookshelf next to the chair and saw the title of an old book I have called, Tarry a While. How fitting, I thought.
Babyhood becomes a distant memory so quickly. Emily will be four soon. Baby days are gone. The tighter you try to hang on to those days, it seems the faster they flee. Every season I pack away little clothes that will never be worn again, shoes that will never fit her feet. Wasn’t it yesterday I held her miniature feet in the NICU and wondered if they would ever be large enough to walk on?
Wasn’t it yesterday I held my first baby’s feet and marveled at how small they were? That was 26 years ago on April 14.
I get stressed out meeting the need of the moment, feeling exasperated at this or that with a preschooler’s constant chatter. But then I remember that it’s all over so quickly.
Sometimes we moms get so busy with the demands of life that we fail to notice how fast all our children are growing. Now I’m watching it happen with my little grandson who is growing so fast, getting ready to walk before we know it. This fall, we will have a second grandbaby!
Don’t rush growing up, Emmy. I’m not young, I’m not wishing you to the next phase. It will come fast enough. Today is precious. This hour is precious. Tarry a while, little girl.