Recently, a pregnant friend told me that she wants to come over and soak up any wisdom I have about parenting, which – honestly – made me laugh a little bit. I don’t mean to sell myself short; I just mean that this business of raising a person is such an experiment. It’s hard for me to feel confident in my suggestions for someone else starting the endeavor.
Still, I’ve been thinking about it.
My child is a toddler now, and our days are filled with everything toddlers bring to life. Early mornings, constant discoveries, lots of emotions, testing every boundary that exists: these are the things in which we are steeped right now. At times, I feel so inadequate. Throughout, I’m aware of how quickly these days are passing, how soon this stage of life will end.
And that, it turns out, is the wisdom I have for my friend: everything is a season. That has always been true but I’ve never really been able to see it before. There have been years in my life where I can’t understand that transience, where it feels like everything – exactly as it is just then – is permanent. But having a child gives an ever-growing measure, a visual reminder, of the fact that things are constantly changing.
The season of pregnancy in my life has come and gone; the season where I am the parent of an infant, too. The season I’m in now is passing by in a blink of an eye, and probably in more ways than I can realize – the season of this job, the season of living in this home – but I’m keenly aware of the season with my little one. This era, so precious, in which he runs at me full-force when I pick him up from daycare; in which he pretends to be drinking coffee alongside me; in which he tells me the happiest part of his day was when he dwove his cah and honked his hoawrn; in which he sits down, his little legs sticking out straight in front of him, to read a book to himself.
When I am at my best, I can remember we are already in the process of shifting into something else. It helps me appreciate all of what I’m experiencing now – even the things that demand more from me than I always know I have to give.
I can hear him starting to wake up, so I’ll end this here without proofreading too closely, without obsessing over little words that might seem awkward here and there. My writing is not my priority right now but someday, I’ll have all the time in the world to devote to it. No doubt some part of me will long for these days right here, when that time comes. When the season changes yet again.