WHY EVERY GROWN WOMAN SAYS (THE BABY YEARS) ARE THE GREATEST YEARS OF HER LIFE
Whenever I hear a grown woman say the baby years are the greatest years of her life, I sob. If you see a woman say this, perhaps as she's wiping her tears while watching a video of her young daughters playing in the backyard with a hose and a dog, it's immediate waterworks. It's the strangest thing. Because when I was a child, I remember my Grandmother saying things like that. Then it was my mother. And it sorta passed over my head. Then I had children. And when my sister in law said at Christmas almost 2 years ago, "I know this is hard, I know you're in the weeds and it's impossible at times, but these are the best days of your life", it was then that I understood. I fully understood. When my cousin commented on a facebook post about my twins, how she misses those days and they were most definitely the best days of her life, it was almost as if my life flashed before my eyes. All she said was "those were the best days of my life". And bam, just like that, I realized in that very second, there's a reason why every grown woman says (the baby years) are the greatest years of her life.
It's because they are.
And grown women whose children are in college, or perhaps married with children of their own, those women are in the "post-baby" stage of life. And although it's a beautiful stage filled with important and quality moments, the baby stage, for these women, is more than a memory hanging in a photo book, or a vhs fuzzy video. It's their life. And if God gave them five minutes to do it all again either in black and white or color, they'd probably take it, without blinking an eye.
Here we are, you and me, stuck in the middle of the tornado. We have babies. Or a baby. Or twins or triplets. And we are in the weeds. Buried under dirt, crawling through the soil with gunk under our nails and mud in our hair. We make it to the surface for air, but sometimes it's just still so difficult to breathe. We see the sun, the moon and once in a while, the stars and all their glory, but we don't take it in at the moment, that this moment, is our life.
It's a race. It's a long day. The longest. The longest of the long. It goes on forever. And ever. And when 8 o'clock comes and the kids are asleep we are just so thankful. We are beaming from ear to ear because we survived another day of the motherhood game. It's glorious. We drink the wine, we go to bed, and maybe just maybe we get a full nights sleep with no child ending up in our bed due to a thunderstorm.
But the years are short. And they go by and by and before you know it you're looking at videos on your iphone giggling and crying in your bed alone. You're staring into that apple device holding on for dear life because you remember that day. Those days. When your current 5 year old was 2 and she was walking down your old driveway with pig tails and a new umbrella and she spoke different, like a toddler. And her cheeks. My God those cheeks. It's all more than your heart can take. And you realize it all just goes so damn fast. And it keeps going, minute by minute, diaper by diaper, day by day, all without your permission. And those days turn to years and those babies become little human beings. And they ask you things like "why do people have to die?" And you just freeze. Because you realize life is so fragile. And so important.
This is why grown women say the baby years are the best times of their life. It's not that they don't love this stage they are in, it's just, they were us: young mothers figuring it out day by day, not having all the answers, but doing it all and doing it well. They made the rules, they loved those babies and they lived life with fervor. They made it count. They were on fire, in love, in their heart, in motherhood. And the coolest thing of all, they still are. At least that's what my Mom says. And I believe her.
We are all in the middle of it. And it's hard, but God willing, so beautiful. And precious. And full of surprises. And the happiness....it's like when you get a dose, you want to freeze frame it and never forget it. Well, that's how these grown women feel, and that's certainly how we will feel one day too.
It's a lesson. We must listen to this lesson. We must hold it in our heart and guide it as we navigate the motherhood journey. Because these are the greatest days of our lives. And although we may not realize it now, today, in the moment, one day we will. And it will be all we have. And to me, that's worth paying a little more attention to.