The other day, I held my two month old nephew for a couple of hours. I breathed in his beautiful baby smell, smiled at his coos, bounced him when he was fussy. I loved his soft baby skin, and his big baby eyes. It was so beautiful and glorious and I wanted those moments with him to last. I miss that stage, especially with my oldest, the one child I
had took the time to enjoy. In those fleeting moments of babyhood, I had so many worries about his life, yet to be lived. Will I keep him healthy? Will his brain develop? Will he grow into a person I want to spend time with?
It was a glorious time and ten years later, I have obviously forgotten about the sleepless nights, the countless tummy aches, colic, and the frustration of hearing everyone’s opinions about my parenting. The tears I shed are dried, and the memories only come back to haunt me every once in a while. I’ve allowed myself to forget the bad parts of an infant, because I know, so far, it all turns out OK.
Eventually, the baby stopped crying constantly, throwing up, and started eating. He even slept through the night and became the best napper. He hit his milestones both early and late, but he hit them, all in his own time. One day I woke up and no longer cared about anyone’s opinion about my parenting. Years later, my child is talking, reading, writing, and socializing. All of those things that caused me to lose sleep, shed countless tears, no longer matter, because I know that his story, so far, has turned out to be OK.
I also examine the life I had when my babies were actually babies. I remember the love, the happiness, the knowing that God actually gave me everything I always prayed for. I wish I could back to those days, that feeling, that love that I felt every single day. I’m learning to forgive myself for the feelings of discontentment, the tears that were shed, and the frustrations I felt with that absolutely perfect life that did not last long enough. How did I feel lost? Why was I ever sad? How many tears did I cry over things that no longer matter? I wonder too often.
I’ve learned to stop living in the future, hoping for a better story, a new opportunity. I know that as glorious as the future can be, it can also be sad, dark, and lonely. Life changes quickly, and there’s very little control we have as humans. I’m also learning to forgive the past; and to cut down the pedestal I often put it on. It’s the past; a part of our story, but it’s not the ending.
Through it all, I’ve allowed myself to grow, change, and reflect. I KNOW, that happiness is truly only found in today, this minute, this life, this day, and how I chose to live it. Life is today. I also know that I have to stop living in the past, since it is gone. I continue to pray that my Earthly story turns out OK.