It’s Wednesday evening and I’m lying on the bed. Every Wednesday ends the same way, me laid next to the sleeping body of our little one having fed him off to sleep. And every Wednesday I feel the same way; I am missing out on so much. I am taking you for granted. You are growing too quickly.
It’s not a middle of the week obsession for me, rather an acknowledgement of the time I’ve spent away from him. The fact that I’ve seen him for no longer than a twenty minute stint in the last 48 hours. Twenty minutes that pass in a frantic blur of feeding, dressing, sorting, cooking and rarely, oh so rarely, playing. And that time makes me realise things. So I lie there, in the enforced calm of a bedtime feed listening to him breathe, feeling him fidget his toes against the tops of my legs and I breathe myself. Our weekend is just beginning. Wednesday evening is the new Friday night. We have time together.
But that time isn’t just ours. The days off are jam packed with activity; shopping, meeting friends, attending classes, sorting, cooking, eating… there’s always something to do and someone to see. And whilst I love it, the hectic energy of our lives, the constant activity, the rush of fitting everything in, in my attempts to give him everything I am missing bits. I am taking him for granted. He is growing too quickly. He is changing before my eyes.
I look at my son and I think of how rapidly time passes. How fast he’s become a child rather than a baby. How much he values his independence. How incredibly strong his will is. Every day he is changing and becoming more like the man he will one day be. When will be the last time we lie together on the bed like this? When will he stop letting me smother him in kisses? When will be no longer need me to be there?
If you knew it was the last time you’d ever do something, what would you do? Would you remember it differently? Would you take the time to soak in every tiny detail of it? Feel the bittersweet moment in full? Or would you prefer not to know?
One day I will look down at him and realise that he hasn’t danced around in a circle for a few days or wrapped his fingers in the hair at the back of my neck as we hug. Things that I take for granted in the day to day whirlwind of our lives. I forget that each day that’s packed with activities is another day for him to grow and change. I ignore the fact that one day he won’t want me to feed and settle him. That when I scroll through my phone whilst he feeds at night, when I’m rushing from place to place, when I’m focussed on everything else, I’m missing the moment. How by trying to give him everything… I’m missing out on him.
So this is my conscious effort to change. To slow our lives down to a point that allows us to embrace those little moments. Yes, there’ll still be work and jobs and play dates but there will also be calm. Time for us to just be. Time for me to embed all his quirks and traits before they change again and are gone forever. Time to stop taking him for granted.