Tonight I was reading my eldest son Corey, a few chapters of his book (The Fox Hunters by Dick King Smith), before he went to sleep.
As I turned out the light, he turned his back to me and wriggled down into the spoon position, for a snuggle before sleep. I put my arms around him and nuzzled my nose deep into his hair, and breathed in his unique blend of Corey-ness mixed with shampoo.
As I did this, I was transported back to the time when he was born and he slept in the bed with me.
Ryan sleeps in the spare room when all our kids are very young, so that they can sleep with me, and be fed throughout the night as needed. It’s a time of really deep bonding for me, and one that I cherish. I closed my eyes and remembered pressing his tiny body up against mine, his mouth on my breast, soothing him back to sleep; and it struck me in that moment, that this is still that exact same baby, just bigger and louder, and with more hair and vocabulary.
Sometimes I look at Corey and Kai (6 and 5), compared to Jack (9 months), and I want to halt time in it’s tracks. I want to grab them, hold on tight, and pray that they won’t get any older, for I am terrified for the time when they are all grown up, and not my babies to kiss and cuddle anymore.
I wonder how Corey came to be six already – where did his baby years go? Sometimes I feel sad that I maybe didn’t appreciate him enough, didn’t smell him enough, didn’t nuzzle him as much as I should’ve.
But you see if I didn’t, it was because I couldn’t.
I was too busy waiting for him to walk, waiting for him to talk; praying for the time when he would sleep through the night and not need to feed anymore; always fixed on achieving the next milestone, and too distracted by Kai who came along after only 17 short months. Where did the time go?
Did I love him enough?
Cherish him enough?
Do everything possible within my power, to show him how much he means to me?
Life passes by so quickly, and the older I get, the faster it goes. So instead of trying to control things, and make life perfect, I have decided to concentrate on what’s really important: family, kids, relationships, love. These are the things you will remember when you are older. Not how much money you had, or how many things you were able to buy. Redefine your view of success.
Make a commitment to yourself today, to stay present in each moment and notice more of life.
Live life to the full and never give yourself the chance to look back and think I wish…