This past weekend I spent Friday and Saturday down in Orlando with my bestest friend Kylia and my crazy but lovable Aunt Becky. It was seriously good times being with them. The reason we were down there was to attend Time Out For Women, an absolutely wonderful conference devoted solely to uplifting and inspiring women.
Friday evening, we got to hear from Hillary Weeks, who might just be one of my favorite musicians EVER. She sang lots of songs from her new album, including one called Stand Still. I am pretty sure it had every mom in the room crying, myself included. Here are the words to give you an idea of what we were feeling at the moment:
I’ve been taking pictures for a long, long time
Some are on paper – but most are in my mind
Snapshots and memories of the days when you were young
I plan to keep them
Long after you’ve grown and gone
I remember watching as you took your first step
Seems the clock’s been running faster ever since
Every day a little taller, it says so on the wall
The days are passing and they’re not going to stop
And if I could
Ask time to stand still
So I could hold you a little longer
I’d make the minutes stop
So we would always have today
I won’t let the sun go down
Until you know how I feel
I love you so much
I wish time could stand still
Finger prints all over the sliding glass door
And I can barely see underneath the toys on the floor
I have wished away the sleepless nights,
The noise and the messes made
But my heart reminds me
I’m gonna miss these days
I’m going to be honest – I’ve never really understood people that cry when their kids start school. I was happy to have some time away from my kids and was ready for them to grow up some. I’ve never really understood the people that wished their kids would stay infants forever. I was so ready to get rid of sleepless nights and not change diapers anymore. And I could go on – but I think you get the idea. I just didn’t get the whole “enjoy every moment” charge given to me. I’m sorry – I don’t enjoy throw-up, temper tantrums, 3 a.m. wakings, potty training, and all the other yucky things.
But now I think my kids are at an age where I have stopped wishing that that would get a little older. I think I’m finally starting to understand why so many others have wished for time to stand still or slow down. Dallin is not yet old enough to think that his parents aren’t cool anymore. He still is ok with me giving him a hug at school. His sense of humor is daily blossoming – it really is getting sophisticated and quite hilarious. Mandy is literally hungering for knowledge and is eating up school like she eats up ice cream. She is so loving and tender. She wants, and I am glad to let her, to be my best friend. Layton has become quite the personality. He is ever entertaining. I love that he is still young enough that every morning he runs straight to our bed to cuddle with me.
Not that they are without problems – Dallin is rather lazy with his school work and we are having a hard time inspiring him. Mandy is SO tender that she cries about almost everything. And Layton still has meltdowns multiple times a day – although I think they are starting to lessen in frequency. But even with all that, I feel like I am finally starting to truly enjoy them. And finally starting to get the hang of enjoying every moment – or what I actually do – enjoying every enjoyable moment :)
Is that solely due to their age? I don’t think so. Although I do think it plays a big part. Another part of it is my personal growth. I think almost 9 years of motherhood has mellowed me some, I think my tolerance level has increased, I think I may actually have learned to be a little more patient.
And so now – I get it. I really do wish time would slow down so that I could enjoy them more.
Another presenter at the conference shared a thought that really touched me. She pointed out that while it is absolutely true that we will have our children with us for eternity, during that eternity they will be adults. There is only an extraordinarily small window of time in which we will know them as children. And since I can’t slow down time, I plan to find ways to get to know and enjoy my children even more in this tiny window of opportunity that I have.