On a particularly normal Wednesday morning last week, I had a strange epiphany about my current season of life. I spotted a woman — maybe 75 or 80 years old — who had just left her physician’s office. Patiently waiting for her bus, she sat without a phone or anything else to distract her. She was very much alone. This is when the lightbulb proverbially went off. Bear with me here, as I explain…
Though Chris and I just enjoyed a few quiet days away (courtesy of my in-laws), there are few moments when I am ever truly alone in this season of my life. The sight of this elderly woman helped me realize something rather profound and simple all at once: this crazy togetherness will not last forever. One day, if I’m blessed to live another fifty or more years, I will have many lonely yet peaceful days like this sweet woman I observed.
This is when reality hit in full force: I won’t always have these early mornings with a giggling toddler in my ear. I won’t always feel like a woman on a mission, trying to squeeze in a grocery store run before the daycare closes. I won’t always be worrying what is next — be it our next meal or our son’s next milestone. Most importantly (and most poignantly), I won’t always be surrounded by the people I love. I saw myself in sweet older woman — many, many years from now — as I drove by slowly that morning. I started imagining the treasure troves of memories still to be made between my 30-year-old self and a woman her age. It almost took my breath away.
So often, this season of life is filled with mundane moments, those everyday ones you are pretty positive will not exist in you memory bank when you’re 80. Those ‘mundane’ moments, however, are precisely the ones I want to hold onto the most. Momentous occasions are almost always documented: first smiles and first steps to baptisms and birthdays. The everyday routine somehow gets the shaft. Some way, some how, I want to do a better job at writing those other moments on my heart.
This drive-by made me realize something more: this hectic and happy existence is exactly what I wished and prayed for in a different season of my life. I longed to be needed like I am today, something I know many others in my life pine for as they wait on this season to begin. Strangely, I know that many moons from now I will feel the exact same way. My children will be grown — without their mother worrying about their next meals or milestones (though let’s be honest, I will still worry). They will be focused on their own children, spouses, and careers. I want to wake up during those days, filled with gratitude that I lived those packed-to-the-brim years to the fullest.
To the outside world, our little family is really in it. By in it, I mean that there will never be another time like this in our lives: I’m waddling around with my basketball (or beach ball?) belly and holding the hand of my toddler, while my husband carts around the tremendous load of stuff we all require. One day, we will have free hands and a lighter load, only to reminisce on these days. These long, laughter-filled, sometimes tear-stained days. I will never be a perfect mother — I gave up on that many moons ago. However, I hope I will look back and remember the littlest of things, like the way James blissfully glided in his swing on a sunny Sunday morning — and the smiles Chris and I shared watching him. Thanks for reading, friends.