I have a confession…
My least favorite days of the year are Feb. 9th, Feb. 16th and June 26th.
These days are probably like any other to you.
But to me, they have represented a little panic mixed with fear.
These dates are tangible indicators in my life of time moving far too quickly.
These three days are my kid’s birthdays.
Terrible. I know. As a mom, I shouldn’t feel this way, right?
The three most special memories of my life happened on Feb. 16th, 1998,
June 26, 2001 and Feb. 9th, 2006 – when I was introduced to each of my beautiful babies.
Sometimes, people even send me well wishes on my children’s birthdays and I can barely muster up my good manners to reply.
I have always felt a bit gloomy on these seemingly meaningless dates on the calendar.
As I have written before, I am guilty as charged for being the mom that has often gone overboard with my kids and they suffered from “the case of too much birthday”.
The Berenstein Bears have a book where Sister coined the term, “too much birthday”. (If you aren’t familiar with this series, consider yourself lucky. They take forever to read - you really dodged a bullet.)
Over the years, I have masked my anxiety and depression about my kids increasing ages with lots of birthday overtures – part of the reason for “too much birthday”.
My inner worry was about the finite amount of time we have as parents to create a solid foundation, before our kid’s do what they do…
Each year, as their birthdays crept up way too quickly, I would begin to experience a sense of dread.
In fact, when Alec, my oldest son, turned seven, it was on his birthday that I finally succeeded in convincing my husband that one more child was necessary for the completion of our clan.
Cory was born fifty-one weeks later. Our boys are a week shy of eight years apart and look shockingly similar.
And yes, having our third child has felt like the gift that has kept on giving.
From the moment that Cory was born, I became a different mother…one that began to truly seize the day.
I focused on the deliciousness of the NOW versus the fear of the rapidly approaching future.
Cory is now ten years old.
The last decade has been one of tremendous growth for me and our family.
He serves as a constant reminder: Time is of the essence to make the most of our time with them under our roofs.
The years seem to be speeding up and each new year seems to begin quicker than I was expecting.
And I have been shocked recently when it seems like the Christmas lights adorn the neighborhood right when I have finally grown used to signing that year’s date on my checks.
Our time is almost up with Alec. He will be going off to college in a few short months.
As I look at my boys, it can feel like a surreal time travel movie…Alec was Cory a hot second ago and in the blink of an eye, Cory will be Alec.
They are growing and that’s a good thing.
Even though I feel incredibly nostalgic and even sad about my first born leaving the nest, I no longer feel that sense of gloom, anxiety and fear about time moving too quickly.
Ten years ago, I made a decision to focus on the amazing daily moments and begin changing patterns by truly showing up as the mom I wanted to be for my kids.
Instead of allowing the fear of time running out to build their foundation for a happy and promising future, I decided to take action and make the most of our time together.
If you're a parent of younger kiddos and can't imagine being where I am with Alec, I have a question for you as you lay your head down at night: Did today feel aligned with your hopes and dreams for your family?
Do you find yourself losing patience and resorting to yelling, bribes or threats even though you hate admitting that to yourself - let alone anyone else?