“The days are long, but the years are short.”Gretchen Rubin
Today is my youngest’s 8th birthday, and in two weeks, my oldest will be halfway through his 13th year. This morning I did what I do on every single one of my kiddos’ birthdays, I took a moment to reminisce. I looked back through my memories . . . through old photos and videos of days that seem like just yesterday, and yet, seem so far away. Chubby baby and toddler photos . . . wobbly first steps . . . toothless grins . . . first bites of cake . . . first words uttered . . . so many firsts and also, a few lasts . . . the last bedtime tuck in . . . the last time I swung them up on my hip . . . the last time I rocked a crying baby in the middle of the night . . . .
My babies are growing up, and there is most definitely a bittersweet component to that. And while there may be a moment of sadness, make no mistake, I do not wish to go back. I do not wish for those earlier years. Not because I don’t cherish them. I do. But because I know what an absolute privilege and honor it is to witness these two precious souls grow into the people God created them to be. To be entrusted to care for them, to lead and guide and help them as they figure out their own path in life. That’s not to say it’s always easy . . . that we never experience heartache or hurdles . . . that I never mess up, get frustrated, or have an occasional meltdown. But every day . . . the hardest . . . the easiest . . . the most challenging . . . is a blessing even when I don’t recognize it in the moment.
So today, I will look back, not with longing but with thankfulness. I will look forward, not wishing the days away but with both excitement and anticipation for what the future will bring. But most of all, I will embrace and be present in this moment, this hour, this day because I know how fleeting these days are.
These long days that flow into the shortest of years are a beautiful, wonderful, and yes, at times, bittersweet blessing.
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