The Season of Now.

Yesterday I spent most of the morning backing up my old eMac hard drive onto my external hard drive, so that I could have all my pictures and videos and things in one place. (Note to all readers: Have you backed up your junk lately? No? GO DOOO IT.) This inevitably led me to combing through my old stuff– getting rid of a million pictures that I no longer need from past ebay auctions and organizing all of our family photos.

Guess what I discovered in my sifting? Ezra used to be a baby.

I know, I know… so weird!

As I was clicking through the memories, a simple tap of my finger recalling emotions and events long forgotten, I couldn’t help but feel that if I could go back and have that time with my son all over again, I would have done things a little differently.

With Ezra, in the past, I always felt like I was stuck in a mode of “I can’t wait until this gets easier” living. I simply COULD NOT WAIT until he could start talking and going to school and doing things on his own. This thought and this desire subconsciously dominated every single day of our lives together. And as I was scrolling through my memories yesterday, I could suddenly see that ugly truth staring back at me. Like it colored every photo and swam through every video. It was blatant. And I felt regret.

The first three years of Ezra’s life were an ongoing struggle for me. A struggle to put myself aside and accept my new role as a mother. I honestly just couldn’t wait until it got easier for me, so that I could regain some semblance of who I’d been before I gave birth. I think some of this is natural and healthy- a desire to retain an identity apart from your children is obviously essential to, oh, you know, your SANITY and MARRIAGE and whatnot- but now, looking back, I can see that I was far too concerned with the “easier” future, and painfully unaware of the incalculable worth in the moments racing so swiftly by me.

As I scrolled through the images, I felt this swelling maternal urge to reach through the computer screen, scoop up that tiny, precious boy, and hug him tightly to my chest. I wanted nothing more than to reach back in time and whisper sweet praises in his bitty ears- reassuring him that he was doing great and I cherished him for where he was at right that moment. I wanted to reach back through time and gently take my own hand… to reassure myself that it would not always be so hard and that I needed to lighten up… a lot. And ENJOY my son.

Because, now? Now I feel like we’ve reached some of the “easier days ahead” living that I’ve been clawing my way towards these 3 and a half years. Ezra is independent and verbal and he can get dressed all by himself. He goes to school. He is well-mannered and listens to his mom and dad extremely well. I am so proud of him, and am enjoying him like I never have before. He’s got my heart on a string like a helium balloon. And all those years of difficulty are finally beginning to take shape in the boy he’s becoming, and I CAN SEE IT! With my own eyes!

Along with being able to finally see the wonderful fruits of my labor as his momma, (how sweet it has been!) I’m able to see that these seasons in our kid’s lives really are short. The hard seasons really do come to an end. And what we make of those difficult seasons really is up to us and no one else, and how we come through those times speaks VOLUMES about our character as human beings, as mothers and fathers.

I am not entirely proud of how I managed the difficult season of Ezra’s first years of life… Feeling like I was owed something for all the sacrifices I’d had to make… looking for compensation and remuneration for every effort I put forth… never wholly embracing who Ezra was because I was so focused on some imaginary finish line that I’d drawn in my head…

Yet, I am proud of the mother I’m becoming through it all. I’m proud of the fact that I can look back and recognize things I’d like to change and do differently. I’m proud of the fact that I am healthy enough to enjoy the gift of my son- no longer hoping for some future season with him, but kicking off my shoes and planting my happy butt right where it’s at. And I’m thrilled to know that, for this next baby boy, I’ve learned a thing or two about cherishing every baby step… a critical lesson that I never would have grasped without the help of his precious big brother.

16 thoughts on “The Season of Now.

  1. This is so beautifully written and so close to my heart. I feel exactly the way you feel. There’s always something special about your first child that you don’t have with the others. I was the oldest and I see my son Nathan being the oldest. He has taught me so much in the last 4 years and I wish I could relive every moment with him. I didn’t know 4 years later would feel like 1 year later. I have struggled to find myself through motherhood and being a wife only to realize I like being someone’s mom and someone’s wife and that this is who I am now. It’s hard putting yourself last but I believe in the end we will be able to appreciate ourselves for everything we sacrificed one day.

  2. Yes, exactly… EXACTLY!!!! Amen!!Praise God for each season of life that helps to prepare and teach us for the next heaven-sent one.Beautiful, this is why I just love you and your blog so much. :)

  3. its weird cause i feel both ways at the same time i feel like… like i can’t wait til nola is ara’s age and ara is 4… no more diapers and stuff… but at the same time i want nola to really be a baby… ara was walking around the coffee table at 6 months old, so i never really felt like i had this little baby, she was always so smart and ahead of me! on one hand i’m dreading being back in baby zone where my body is not my own but on the other hand i want to experience having a tiny baby, who acts like a tiny baby :)

  4. Lovely post. I understand this. I have been saying “once I retire” …. all of us do this and we set our sights on goals and miss the present moments. I am guilty fer sure.

  5. In my opinion, it is not possible to appreciate it DURING the way you will appreciate it in retrospect. At the time, it is nothing but difficulty. But looking back, you just wish you could redo it and… *appreciate* it. One of life’s little tricks.

  6. …”I can see that I was far too concerned with the ‘easier’ future, and painfully unaware of the incalculable worth in the moments racing so swiftly by me.”… Love this. Your blog is such a safe place to come as we are. Thank you.Oh, and really, why don’t you have a publisher?

  7. Hi Babe,beautifully written! Momar and I are now offically retired and I think we can both confess that we spent way too much time worrying about the “future” when things would be “easier”. Hopefully we will now spend more time in the “now” because that is where all good things seem to really happen! We will see you all very soon. DODAD

  8. i love this post. i can even relate it to my life- though i dont have a kid and im not pregnant or married or, well anything like you BUT i can relate to looking back and recognizing things in hindsight that i’d like to change in the future, but also being content with the process it took to get me here and the process it will take to keep… processing more. thanks for the reminder that i’m not the only one who makes mistakes :) so p.s. WHATS THE NEW LITTLE ONES NAME i cant wait to find out!

  9. Your post gave me goosebumps – probably because I just make the incredibly difficult decision of leaving university to come home (it was a wonderful new adventure there, but i sacrificed that for knowing i would work harder at home and because of family commitments) and I’m worried I will look back with regret – but I thought about this and I know that I have to be proud of the decisions I’ve made, they define who I am – and just like you, you’re experiences will help you with your new child (CONGRATS AGAIN – I FEEL LIKE SOMEONE I KNOW REALLY WELL IS HAVING A KID AND I CAN’T WAIT!!!) Keep posting… :p

  10. You know, your post brought tears to my eyes. I’m so blessed with a beautiful baby whose every breath, giggle, and smile I inhale. I only wished for her to hurry up and sleep more than 2 hours at a time, but other than that I’ve soaked in every precious moment. I am so blessed and thankful that I’ve felt this way. And your post made me really appreciate that.God helps us realize things about ourselves in different ways and at different times. This is your time, and I pray you continued happiness and joy. Your son is beautiful and I cannot wait to see your second one!

  11. SO AMAZING! I needed to hear this- I’ve been stewing in the sadness of my lost single-gal freedom and the perks that go with it. You reminded me not to wish this season away. Great post, as usual!PSAnd, you were such a hot momma on the dance floor at Taylor’s wedding!

  12. a little weird – i am on the way other side of the spectrum. 3 kids. all grown – some with kids of their own. it’s so surreal – where did it go? did i walk through the time tunnel one day and just miss the in-between? you’re so right – gotta hang on to every day.

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