Monday was Sebastian's 7th birthday. For any of you with little kids, I'm sure you know how I'm feeling. It's something like...
"Holy fuck how is he 7?!"
For any of you with older kids I'm sure you're laughing at me and saying something like...
"Just wait until they're 18, then you'll really feel old!"
And you're totally right. I'm certain I will feel this at every single one of my kids' birthdays for the rest of my life. Their birthdays are the reminder of how quickly time moves, much more so than my own birthday. Maybe because little kids change more in 1 year than adults. Or maybe it's just because it makes me feel sentimental. Like a mother should be while watching her babies grow up.
While I may be in awe of how fast it's all going, at no time do I wish for it to stop. People often say things like "don't you wish they'd stay little forever?" No, I definitely do not. I love watching them learn and grow. I love seeing what each new phase will bring. And I love that they're still little enough to like spending time with me. But if they weren't growing, none of this would seem special. Like so much in life, it means more because it's temporary. It's always changing, giving you no time to waste. Only time to savor every moment you can since you know it's the only moment like this you will get. Your kids will never again be as young as they are right now. That's why they are so precious.
The funny thing about time is how it can feel like it's moving at the speed of light but also slow at the same time. If I think of everything that has happened in the last 7 years I realize, it does feel likes it's been awhile. We have done so much with him. We made many first child mistakes. We learned what it's like to have a baby and stay awake all night trying to get him to sleep. We both changed our work situations so we can be with him more. We had our hearts broken when receiving his NF diagnosis. We grew stronger in the aftermath, learning how precious and fragile our child's life really is. We had his brother and watched their bond form. We took them on many plane trips, road trips, camping, fishing, swimming, farm exploring, berry picking, beach playing, hiking, bike riding, stroller adventuring, park playing, and so much more.
I have learned what it feels like to fail as a parent and to succeed. I have enjoyed more hugs, kisses, and snuggles than I can count, and still hope for countless more. I have learned I can love and hate a thing at the same time. I have learned what unconditional love is and that I am capable of it. My experiences as a parent have made me a better person. Stronger, more compassionate, more patient (sometimes), and more complete. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
So here's to 7 years as a parent, and the 70 more to come. (Yes I'm living to 101.)