Savoring the Long, Hard, and Crazy Fast

Gilbert kids 2

“It all goes by so quickly. Enjoy them while they’re young.” Having my fifth and last child recently leave the teenage years behind, I know this is all too true. They enter the teenage years slowly and exit them at the speed of sound. But, honestly, if one more person had told me that when the kids were younger, I just may have said bad things. It took everything in me just to feign a smile to the one offering kind advice.

I knew it went fast. But with five children, sometimes those days were hard. Excruciatingly hard. And some days I didn’t care if it went fast. Actually, I had hoped it would go fast some of the time. I went in and out of savoring the moments and thinking they were the longest days ever.

Now that I’m at this end of it all, I want to go back and savor a little more. In retrospect, the challenge came from so many directions. It wasn’t just parenting. It was the responsibilities that came from working, and trying to keep the house looking good for all the people we had over, and rushing to too many meetings, and keeping relationships strong, and trying so hard to do it all well.How do we find the balance in the middle of those days? We continually check our “moments.” We analyze the cost of those moments. We prioritize and try to make the best decisions we can for our family. We recognize that hard days are normal days. And they go by just as fast at the easier days. We are the only ones who can decide what is best for our families, and decisions must be made in light of the moments we are in. Because we can’t decide backwards.

Enjoy it all on the good days, and on the hard days, remember that every day includes sleep. When their busy and noisy lives have settled into slumber, seeing their sweet sleeping faces remind us again that it is all worth it.  Built into every day are sacred spaces where we can slow down and savor moments.

Saying “yes” to parenting them well is worth every “no” we may have to say in the process.  There are a lot of years to say “yes” when they are grown. And they will grow up more quickly than we can imagine. Savor the sacred, sweet space of parenting. The long and the hard go by quickly too.

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