Autumn has her animal friends tucked in with her, and Peter has his thumb in his mouth. Everyone is snuggled under their muslin blankets, and I hope against hope they’ll fall asleep soon. Sooner than later please. I close the door, let my shoulders droop with relief- we made it.
I keep hearing my friend’s voice in my head- It does get easier. Promise. She texted it to me over the weekend, and I don’t know what convinced me, but for the first time I started to believe it could be true. Maybe it’s because she has four of her own or because the toddler years were hard for her too, but her text felt as though she were reaching across the table, squeezing my hand, and telling me she gets it. She’s been there. She’s known the unseen hardships, she’s made it out alive, and now she’s telling me that I will too.
But some days it’s hard to believe I’ll make it- not through toddlerhood but through the day. When both kids are teething and the whining and needing are incessant, it doesn’t feel like I’ll make it. When they have to sit close and nestle into my body after they’ve already climbed all over me, when both are screaming so loudly and at a pitch so high my eardrums hurt, it doesn’t feel like I’ll make it. The clock seems to be mocking me, the hours feel twice as long, and I wish someone would come watch the kids so I can just take a nap.
But then there are those magical moments when sibling love reigns and my heart fills to the brim. Or when browsing through old photos makes me mourn over how much they’ve grown. My heart aches for time to stop. I want them to be little forever, to fit in my arms forever. I wish I could bottle up that ache and feel it every time I think I won’t make it through the day. I want to remember how inconsiderate time really is and treasure these years when they need me and want me to be with them.
At the end of our text, my friend wrote this-
Know you will get time to yourself to do what you want- it may not be right now, but it will come and you will wish you had those distractions that come from your littles wanting you to be with them.
I get what she’s saying. It may not be easy now, but this, right now, is brief. It will pass sooner than I think, and it will get easier.