I hold my son close, as close as I can before he pushes me away again. He wants me, he doesn't want me, he doesn't know what he wants. I try sitting with him, standing with him, bouncing him, rocking him, looking out the window, looking at a book, singing songs and sitting quietly. Nothing is working and I don't know what to do.
This moment feels like ten million years, ticking by like a long winter desperate for spring. "How long will this last?" I think to myself. "What more can I do?" I ask aloud. As they always do, somehow the hands on the clock continue to move, inch by every, single inch, but it feels like no progress is ever made.
Some people call this the trenches, others the weeds, or just being in the thick of it. Call it what you want, it's as bad as they say it is. Like every parent, I'm often told to "enjoy it now, because it goes by too fast," and even with only eleven short months of parenting under my belt, I already know they are right. But in that trying moment, that deep, exhausting, horribleterrible, just-stop-it-now, just-let-me-be, just-one-break-please, moment, "enjoying it" is the last thing I'm trying to do.
I think back to the newborn stage, the cuddly, snuggly, sleepy, blanket-wrapped newborn stage, and that is how I remember it. But when I think again, deeper and harder, I remember the crying, non-stop, sleepless, painful, just-keep-your-head-above-water newborn stage. It's a distant memory, yes, but not so distant I can't drum it up if I try. As my son has grown, the long moments have become less common, but they still rear their ugly head every few weeks, just so that I don't forget - usually just when I'm starting to really enjoy this time that goes oh, so fast.
It's funny though, because it's in those tough moments, those moments that I wish would pass as fast as possible, that I usually think of how people tell me to "enjoy these moments." And what I've come to realize is that they don't mean this moment, they mean all of the moments. Because when you look back at all of the moments together, somehow, someway it's usually only the good ones that bubble to the surface. Those moments that feel like ten million years fade and the moments that go by in just ten short seconds - those are the ones you remember. A smile with four new teeth, chubby, pumping, jumping thighs, and laughter, oh the glorious laughter.
That is what you remember. That's what those ten million years are made up of. And boy are they worth it.
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