Conservation of Youth

My younger son has just turned two, and even though I've already done this once, I am constantly blown away by his rapidly developing personality and skills. The day he turned two, he began chanting, "I do it! I do it!" as if someone had given him instructions on how 2-year-olds were supposed to act. yesterday, he sang me "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and got (almost) all the words right. Both of my boys surprise me with their newfound talents almost on a daily basis. I am in awe of how fast they are growing; increasingly, I'm aware of how quickly time has begun to move.

It's cliche, I know but also terribly, beautifully ture: they grow up so fast. For all my wistful longings to have my "life" back, I don't want to turn around one day and realize that my children are all grown up. As Thoreau would say, this is truly a time to "suck all the marrow out of life." My children change daily; sometimes it almost seems hourly. As beautiful as it is to witness, it also fills me with anxiety: I'm so afraid of missing out on the little moments that make up their lifetimes!

Yesterday, as I watched my little Jake eat his dinner, chatting to me about his day, I started thinking about how fleeting each phase of childhood can be. What he does repeatedly today could easily be a thing of the past tomorrow. I couldn't possibly recount the path he took from one-year-old to two-year-old, or remember the exact moments when he started acting so grown up. They are too small and varied, but still startlingly important. I decided as we sat at the dinner table that I should treat each day as its own age. Jacob is two all year, but he's only THIS kind of two today. I'd like to strive to celebrate the joys of each day, remembering that today's mundane is tomorrow's faded memory.

While it's inevitable that we won't have time to revel in every "age of the day" because of other responsibilities, it's important that we recognize it as often as we can. Protecting those little moments that sometimes come only once in their lifetimes is essential to truly savor every day of their lives. It's a kind of conservation of their youth, and we are the rangers, ensuring things remain the way they're meant to be.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

This is so very true, and so, so, so what I think every mother struggles with. I find it so hard to savor every moment, and I often struggle with the mundane, day-to-day routine. I try to remind myself as much as possible that there will be a day when I look back and miss these seemingly mundane moments. Thanks for a great post!