It’s funny what makes you emotional as a parent. As I sit writing this, the girls are in bed having their afternoon nap. I was trying to locate one of my old posts- this one about when we bought Mads first shoes. It was only just over two years ago but it feels like an eternity has passed. I am sat here on the sofa and for a brief second I felt like bursting into tears.
Motherhood is so bittersweet, there’s that saying ‘The days are long but the years are short’ and that couldn’t be more apt. Sometimes I find myself staring at the clock, willing it to be seven so I can put the girls to bed and just have a bit of time to myself. Sometimes I realise it’s only nine thirty in the morning but it feels like it should be lunchtime. But then I look back at a photo of my now three year old in her first tiny shoes and I realise that I hardly remember the way she was then.
Of course, I have those memories stored in my head, hundreds of photos capturing those moments I don’t ever want to forget, this blog with it’s stories and snippets of our family life, but it all gets a bit hazier with time.
To me, them growing up so quickly brings such a strange mixture of emotions to the surface. I feel like we are constantly saying goodbye to things- goodbye to them sleeping in our room, goodbye to their first year, goodbye to breastfeeding. With each new milestone- first smiles, first steps, first day’s at nursery, there is a stark reminder that we won’t get these moments back. That we won’t get to feel those amazing feelings again.
Occasionally I will notice things I didn’t notice before, like how Mads can suddenly pronounce biscuit correctly instead of saying ‘bicit’, or how she no longer needs me to fast forward the bit on Shrek that makes her get scared. Or how LL’s hair now reaches the bottom of her neck, or that she no longer cries if she doesn’t get her milk right.this.second after she wakes up in the morning. Just little things, signifying that our girls are changing, growing and leaving different stages behind.
Last Tuesday we went with my Mum and Grandma to get LL’s first pair of shoes. While not walking unaided yet, she is getting more confident every day and therefore we thought it was time. Great Grandma bought Mads first shoes so it was only right that she do the same for LL. And watching my smallest daughter holding hands with my Mum and walking round the shoe shop, giggling and laughing because she was just so damn proud of herself, made me feel a strange mixture of happiness and sadness.
Happiness as I get to witness her on a new journey. Those first steps are such an incredible time, bringing with them a whole new world of discovery and adventure. Yet a twinge of sadness because she’s walking straight out of babyhood and becoming a little person, just like her big sister before her. While I relish these milestones and new experiences, it’s so bittersweet that we have to say goodbye to the previous ones.
She’s still not entirely ready to let go of our hands yet and start walking on her own. She is so nearly there, but she just needs the reassurance that someone is there for her, steadying her in case she is about to take a tumble.
And I guess that’s the thing about motherhood. It’s about letting them go, just that little bit more with each milestone we pass on this crazy journey together.
But it’s about letting them know that we will always be there to catch them if they fall.