The Longest Shortest Time

Parenthood. I've never experienced anything more wonderful, exhausting, rewarding, discouraging, fun and miserable in my life. There are some days when I look at my beautiful daughters and can almost feel my heart expand with love and joy.

Days when we make cookies together, dance to "Moana" in the kitchen, wrestle and laugh. Days when Matilda says, "I want my mommy. I love you mommy!" and Millie kisses my face over and over while saying, "Best. Mom. Ever!"

There are days where we sing, craft, go on wagon rides, laugh until we cry. Days when I feel like I'm not only a good mom, but a damn great mom. Days when Seth and I glance at each other and smile, clutching our chests and sharing a knowing glance that says, "we are the luckiest." Days when I see them running through the backyard and the light catches them just so, and I think, "This is the happiest I have ever been in my life."

Then there are other days when nothing sounds more amazing than getting in my car and driving far, far away. Days when I think to myself, "This sucks. This is all work, no fun and my kids are assholes. They've ruined my body, they've ruined my marriage, they've taken all of me. And I don't want to do it anymore."

There are mornings when 6:15am feels like complete torture. When I think, "I just want one day, one damn day where I don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn and start cooking pancakes!" I want to sleep in, enjoy a quiet cup of coffee, maybe crawl back in bed and read. Then maybe I'll go for a run, bike ride or to a yoga class. Then I'll take a quiet and long shower, without the girls fighting or crying outside the door. Onto lunch with a girlfriend, maybe a pedicure and some shopping. I'll feel tired afterward so a good 2 hour nap sounds perfect. Then, I'll get ready for a night-out with Seth. Dinner with friends, maybe a movie and some hot sex to end the day. I think that's what I used to do with my free time. Right?

The other day, I was snuggling with Tilda on my bed. I was tickling her face and she smiled up at me with her big green eyes. I realized that I simply don't want her to grow up. This girl is absolute perfection right now.

If I had my choice she would stay 2 forever. She's the family clown and makes me laugh hundreds of times a day.

She's independent and yet still a momma's girl. She is inquisitive and clever. She NEVER stops talking. The other day when we were running errands she literally chatted my ear off the entire time. "Are we going to Gaga's house? Is she working in the backyard? Look at that airplane. I see mountains momma! Is today the day we get shots?" She dances constantly. She loves to act like a kitty and lick my face. Anytime I'm sitting on the couch she will inevitably run and jump right onto me, laughing hysterically. She tells me when she wants to "go night-night". I love when she asks for her zippy and her "bink-a-bink". My heart just melts when she asks to snuggle with mommy. Each day when I come home from work she shrieks with delight and runs straight for my arms. Oh...I just love her so much I can hardly stand it.

As we were snuggling I said to her, "Tilda, don't grow up. Don't ever change. Don't become 5-years-old. Stay exactly the way you are." She smiled and exclaimed, "No Momma!"

I do find myself yearning for the days of older children. I am excited for ages 7 and 10. Old enough that they can feed themselves, dress themselves, are easy to travel with, and we don't have to be home and in bed by 8pm. Days without sippy cups, diaper bags, and interrupted sleep. Days where I don't throw away 85% of whatever meal I attempted to feed them. I look forward to days of roadtrips and summer movies, swimming and camping. I can't wait for that sweet spot. That time before their problems become teenaged problems. Before they start feeling embarrassed by me. Before they start acting like they don't love or need me.

I know I shouldn't wish this time away. I know that. That's the thing about having young children. You know how the saying goes, "It's the longest, shortest time." It is 100% true. Each day feels like an eternity. The days start at 6am, and don't truly end until 8:30 or so. Then it's the battle of "should I go to bed or spend 2-3 hours doing what I want to do for a couple hours?" I yearn for the days where I don't drop on the couch as soon as the girls are in bed. Hell, I'm amazed that I'm even writing right now. Even sitting on the couch and trying to do something other than zone-out feels exhausting. And yet, as much as the days feel like an eternity, the years fly by. It's unreal. How do I really have a 5-year-old? It seems like just yesterday that Millie and I were driving weekly to visit "Mr. Big Guy" and nows she's busy at preschool and playing with friends. I know it'll be over before I know it and that I'll yearn for this time. Sticky hands, reading the same 2 books every single night, bubble baths, naked-noodle dancing, rocking my babies to sleep, being needed. 100% loved and needed. I'll miss that. I'll yearn for these exhausting and wonderful days.

So that's the challenge. Enjoy this phase. Enjoy the long-days. Make the best of it. Because it won't last forever. And this life is really extraordinary.

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