A few months into Anna’s life, I had a mom say, with a little bit of cynicism:
“These are the absolute best days. Hang on to them.”
A nice phrase I had heard many times before. One I’ve probably said to a friend. But now the phrase referred to my own daughter, and it made me panic a little. If these are the BEST days, then the reality of them passing quickly is like a big gray cloud hovering over me. If these are the BEST days, I’m tempted to white-knuckle-cling to them and be consumed with sadness (or anxiety) by my inability to slow them down.
I brought this pressure and tightness around my heart before God and honestly, asked for a better perspective.
He eventually brought me to this:
Yes, I’m (God) giving you gifts today, baby snuggles, first smiles, intimate hours with Anna. But don’t think I don’t have gifts for every stage, every season, every week of her life for you all.
Basically: Open the gift of today, the goodness in it. Receive it, enjoy it, see the grace. But don’t cling to it and be too sad when it passes because you think the joy you feel is going away with it.
I think I’ve said Thank You to Him more times since Anna arrived than I ever have. Something about the wonder and weight of her, the joy she brings us, His presence in the uncertainty of the future, the wisdom desired to make decisions. I feel like I breathe it almost constantly.
So maybe that’s the better way, Mamas.
Maybe we soak up the current moment, feeling all the happiness and gratitude we can bear over it, rejoicing in God, instead of fearing and despising its fleeting nature. Not because it isn’t bittersweet. But because God designed time to work this way, always changing, never stopping, and His nature is purely good and infinitely wise. We doubt His kindness and ability when we think He can’t provide contentment and joy tomorrow, or next year, like He does today. Or that He isn’t with us to help us through all the emotions we venture through.
I can’t say I don’t look back at photos of Anna at 3 months and marvel at how life was then, how she was then. But I also can honestly say I wouldn’t want to go back, because I love the way life is now, where she is today. And I’m excited for growth to come. (Although she isn’t a snuggler so I sort of miss her falling asleep in my arms, haha.)
Let’s not make a habit of fearing the fleeting nature of time, but embrace all the good, joy and purpose He’s gracing us with in this moment, give thanks, and look excitedly to all God might have in the next one.
It’s certainly a practice, but one I think would give way to [my desired] peace and perspective.