Picture yourself standing inside the lobby of a busy building. You’re stuck in one place while facing a revolving door. In one fell-swoop, gaggles of folks are forced into the building as another hurried group pushes themselves back out into the busy streets of the world.
There are no breaks here, no relief: just people – constantly coming and going – before you hardly have a chance to take in their faces… their moods… their stories. These people are gone before they really even have a chance to arrive. And there you stand… stunned.
There are people you wish would stay forever and others who you are glad to see leaving. There are some who you reach for long after they’ve left, and others you simply missed altogether.
You are uncertain when (or if) the door will slow; when the people become sparse and the building empties. You spend hours recounting the faces you’ve seen, wondering if you’ll remember their finite details in the years to come.
There are days where you greet the incomers with merriment and gratitude, and days when a simple wave seems excruciating.
This door and these people are my season right now.
This is motherhood… and those people are milestones that flash before my eyes daily.
I woke up recently to the realization that in one single month, I had purchased the last box of Pull-ups for my middle. The baby bottles had been washed and put away for the last time. And Monk-monk hadn’t accompanied us on a trip outside the house anytime in my recent memory. The revolving door of milestones was throwing things at me and taking them away quicker than I had even been able to process; and the realization left me breathless. I was the stunned woman in the lobby.
For a solid week, I’ve sobbed each time I’ve laid the baby to bed because I’m hyper-aware of the fact that her baby snuggles are our last. I’ve left a bottle on the counter for days just in case she reached for it; so I could officially say that I remembered the last time she took one. This week, I cried when I stocked the bathroom basket of Pull-ups, knowing they’ll sit there for a long time before I finally just give them away. Then tonight, when I pulled the covers up under our oldest’s chin… I made sure Monk-monk was as close to her heart as he could be, because I know he’ll soon reside at the end of her bed with the rest of her stuffed animals.
Tonight, I just want to stick a brick in the door. I want to invite those people in to stay for awhile before they rush back out to the world. I want to remember their smells and their stories. I want to hug them and remember their squeeze. I want everything to just slow down for a minute and stop spinning. Tonight, I’m just asking for time to tick a little slower.
Motherhood is so many things; but more than anything it is wholly bittersweet.
It is difficult and rewarding, exhausting and renewing… joyful and heartbreaking all at once.
This year holds even more milestones for our littles; more moments of rapid fire in front that revolving door. My only hope is to simply embrace each turn for what it is: