Fast Forward, Pause, Rewind and Repeat
The pause button. If life came with a remote control, it seems like every mother claims she would choose to hit the pause button so she could enjoy her baby just a bit longer. Since having Atlas I’ve become very aware of statements other moms make regarding their children. Statements like, “I wish she would just stop growing!” or “I hate that he is getting so big!” and “I wish I could freeze time and enjoy this baby stage longer.” Statements like the above always made me feel a little inadequate as a mother. Why? Well, because as other moms were desperately trying to hit that proverbial pause button, I was frantically looking for the fast forward button on my life’s remote control.
I never prayed for the time to slow down when I was soothing a colicky baby at 1am. I never wished that time would freeze when Atlas screamed bloody murder every time he sat in his stroller…or the carseat…or really any place that wasn’t my arms. I never wanted Atlas to ‘stop growing so fast’ when I was nursing him every 2 hours…or when he would cry for what felt like hours and I had no idea why because he had no way of communicating his needs to me. In fact, I prayed for the exact opposite of what every other mom seems to pray for.
“Dear Sweet Lord in Heaven, if you will make this day go by quickly I’ll give you whatever you want. My firstborn? You want my firstborn? Because you can totally have him.”
For the first year of Atlas’ life, I struggled to keep up with motherhood. I loved Atlas with all my heart, but I found the stages of his development utterly exhausting. Every stage he entered was certainly better than the last, but I never truly categorized a stage as “THE BEST!” Never, ever, ever did I wish time would slow down so I could enjoy a certain stage a little longer. I assumed that was just a motherhood gene I was missing and in all honesty, it made me sad that I really had no desire to savor those 2am diaper changes and feeding sessions.
And then Atlas hit a year and everything started changing for us. Atlas began walking around 10 months and by 12 months he was trying to say words. That was a game changer. He seemed like a happier kid almost overnight, which made me a happier mama. I still wouldn’t say I’m searching for life’s pause button, but I am trying to record moments in my mind so I can replay them over and over again because the moments are simply too wonderful to be forgotten.
Like the way Atlas sings Bible songs while lifting his hands up in the air and shaking his little booty. I’m confident it is the cutest thing that’s ever happened on planet earth. And the way he dances through his baby music class…gah!Be still my heart!
Oh, and the way he whispers, “I luuuuub yooouu” when Dave & I put him to bed at night. And then he screams “Niiiiiight Niiiiiight” when we leave his room and he proceeds to say “Byyyyyeeeee mama. Byyyyyyyeeeee dada” 621,487 times before drifting off to sleep.
Today he came up to me, grabbed me by the face with both of his tiny hands and kissed my lips no less than 10 times. I will think about each of those sweet baby kisses on his wedding day and cry. I’m sure of it.
I’m trying to memorize the pitter patter sound his feet make when running around our house – especially when he runs naked to his bathtub every night screaming “baaaaaath!”
He must say “Hiiiii” to every person he sees. Even if they don’t see him. It’s the best and I’ll be sad when he outgrows that. But then again…maybe he won’t outgrow that. He is Dave’s child and my husband is the friendliest man I know.
And the way he hugs Ob & Marley tightly, with his eyes squinted shut and says, “aaaaawwww.” Gosh. I don’t ever want to forget that sweet sound.
He laughs at everything these days. We took him for a ride in his little blue car when it was snowing this week and he couldn’t stop giggling at the snow pelting him in the face. My heart will break a little when he outgrows that baby giggle.
And he insist on helping us with every household chore. Laundry. Dishes. Taking the trash out. He wants to help with ALL the chores and while this can be annoying sometimes, there are times when I
think…actually, I know…I’m going to miss this. He just wants to be doing whatever we are doing and I find it absolutely precious.
On the day I send Atlas off to kindergarden, I’m confident I will cry. And I’ll cry when we drop him off at college. And I’ll cry when he gets married. But it won’t be because I miss holding an infant or because I long for those middle of the night cuddle sessions with a fussy baby. It will be because I miss the stage we are in now. I will miss the sound of this feet running down our hallway and the sound of his giggle. I’ll miss his hilarious version of a whisper. I’ll miss the kisses he so freely gives right now and the way he reaches up for me to hold him while saying, “Uuuuup, Mama! Up!”
If life handed me a remote control, I still wouldn’t hit the pause button right now. But I wouldn’t hit the fast forward button either. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a pause button sort of girl. I still don’t ever wish time would freeze because as much as I love this stage, I’m very much looking forward to the next stage, and the stage after that. I’m looking forward to t-ball games and birthdays and even high school. I’m excited to watch Atlas grow up into the man God created him to be. To be completely honest, I’m even sort of looking forward to an empty nest one day (one day very far away). I quite like my husband & I think it will be exciting to one day share our home with just him again…with frequent visits from Atlas and my grand babies, of course. 😉
I’m savoring moments of motherhood these days though – soaking it all in. I very much hope this time is imprinted on my heart and in my mind with such detail that I can always revisit it and smile like I smiled today. If in 30 years someone handed me a remote and a DVD (or whatever people are watching movies on in 2045) of my life, I would gladly hit the rewind button. I would stop the tape to when Dave & I were young, free and in love (I was cuter back then)…but then I would want to fast forward to the love we share now. A love that is deeper and more meaningful and just all-around-better. I would probably still fast forward through the infant stage with Atlas, but then I would quickly hit play to watch right where we are today. This is where I can tell it is starting to get good. I would curl up with Dave and enjoy some popcorn as we watched the messiness, craziness, hilariousness and sweetness that our life is right this second. And I would cry. Tears of joy that all these blessings happened to us and tears of sadness that it all passed so quickly. I’m sure of it.