the one about how I take it back

"Hurry up!"

"Please hurry!"

"Let's hurry!"

How many times have these phrases been whispered, blurted, yelled, or sometimes screamed in some guttural war cry in the direction of my children? Hundreds...if not thousands of times. Whether we had an errand to run, an appointment to attend, an event to go to... I have hurried my little ones probably everyday of their lives in one way or another.

There have even been plenty of times where I have expressed similar sentiments to my husband, my friends, my parents, or even myself in the privacy of my own mind.

"I just wish she had a little more independence."

"It will be easier when they are older and don't need me as much."

"I can't wait until they can do ________."

"When will this pregnancy be over?"

All of these thoughts point back to the same root meaning -- hurry up.

It's so easy to play these thoughts on repeat when I am sleep-deprived. My brain is consistently foggy. My emotions are on high alert. It is incredibly tempting to look forward to next year, or the next ten years, and think life will be infinitely easier when my children are in different phases of life.

But it never fails. As soon as I get my wish. As soon as my children start growing up and needing me less, I am full of regret.

I take it back.

I didn't mean it.

Let's try it all again.

Don't get me wrong. I cannot possibly put on a pedestal the nights where I was up every hour on the hour with a fussy baby. I can't forget the time I tried to potty train Noelle using the three-day method and quit after day one. I won't glamorize the incessant time outs or the handful of times we have walked out of a restaurant with our food in to-go bags because our child(ren) threw an epic fit. These are not parenting moments that I wish to relive, but rushing through them wasn't the answer, either.

While each new phase brings along excitement and new adventures, it also leaves behind a tightening in my chest...a longing in my heart... for the days that we will never have again.

I take it back.

Don't hurry.


The minutes, hours, and days are going to pass in the same speed, whether we wish them away or not. And before we know it, our babies...the ones we held and rocked and stared at for hours on end in their first months of life...will be walking through the doors of their elementary schools, and we will be so lucky to even get a look-back or a wave.

At least that's what my oldest baby is doing today.

Today, she starts 2nd grade. But wasn't she just in Kindergarten? How did this happen so quickly? And how do I get things to slow down?

Many times throughout this past summer, when my patience had worn thin, my energy level was on empty, and my creative juices were dry...and my children had watched their fill of the Disney Channel and even the weirdest Youtube videos of adults opening Easter eggs full of cheap toys couldn't entertain them...I thought to myself, "I can't wait until they are back in school. Things will calm down and return to normal."

But damn. I take it back.

I miss her already.

And next week, Charlotte will be headed out the door for all-day preschool, three days a week, and I will miss her, too. All the times I have been frustrated with her...the times I have wished she wouldn't want one more tickle on her back when I just want to go to bed...the times I have groaned in disbelief when she asks for a snack 20 minutes after eating breakfast...I will take those back, too.

They are only small for such a small amount of time. Too soon, you are called to send them out into the world, which is probably the most painful thing ever because it is literally a living, breathing, piece of your body, heart, and soul walking around in that great big space without you. You love them so much it hurts -- a widely-used cliche, but the only fitting way to describe it.

Too soon, you are worrying about friends (and enemies). You are worrying about parties (and not getting invited to parties). You are worrying about love interests (and broken hearts). You are worrying about getting into college (and then them actually going to college).

The future, though colorful and bright, can take its time. At least for me, for right now, I am in no hurry. I can't be in a hurry. It's all going too quickly on its own.

We don't have time to go back and get your blanket.

I take it back.

We don't have time to see one last animal at the zoo.

I take it back.

We don't have time to read one more story.

I take it back.

I can't wait until...

I take it back.

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