It’s another winter.
And it’s that time when the seasons, particularly the Christmas season that calls you to meditate on the fleeting moments, they year almost finished. Then I have the stark realization that another year has passed. This is my last year of having a baby. Years will progress and I will never know the feeling of caressing baby skin, smelling my baby’s breath, and seeing their bright wonder of every little thing. Their baby hugs will grow and become harder, and their tender innocent voices, more stern. No more smushy cheeks and having a baby snuggle perfectly in the nook of my hug when we sleep.
Looking around our office, I see medals and trophies already, realizing that my oldest has already made achievements. I see three violins, conveying their musical potential and how we are now in the middle of dreams and not just at their commencement. I see Perze’s business cards that I’ve proudly framed, showing his journey from humble beginnings, to now presigious companies who seek after him.
And then there’s me, cheering them on. Putting myself aside for a while. And I gladly do it. Sometimes, I struggle with it because of what I thing I could have accomplished, and hearing discouraging remarks about dedicating seasons to stay home and raise my children.
But I never regret it. I don’t because I don’t just get front row seats of their early years, I’m there on the field with them- every day. Think of the hours I spend with them during the day and add it up within one year. That is my investment. I can never get those back. That is the relationship I build with them. I’m not saying women who work full time cannot have quality relatioships with their children, but I don’t know their struggles. But I know they struggle. I know they’re torn. I know they could wish for negogiation. I know they want to invest more in their children’s early years. And I applaud them for their sacrifice.
So understand mine. And count the blessings, the advantages of our choice because not too many mothers are fortunate enough to have such a gift. I’m richly blessed. Looking around this office and seeing such proof of how fleeting time is, my years with staying home with them seems already too short. When I’m older, I will always always treasure these seasons. Always. Despite unloving remarks. Despite assumptions and worldly expectations. I will owe my husband too much for choosing with me this path.
So, winter, here is another year. The Christmas tree is up and I’m still home with my girls. But this year causes a little sadness because I know it is the last Christmas we will have a baby in the house, roused with wonder at the lights. Time goes so fast and they don’t even know it. I stare so hard and so long sometimes at them, thinking maybe their images, their sounds, laughter, and conversations, the feeling of them at this age, can all be embedded perfectly in my memory…