This afternoon I was standing the in kitchen, tackling the sink full of far too many dishes. We've all been sick and it feels like they are piling up around us. I'm usually the type of person who only lets a few things get dirty before I clean. A dirty house makes me antsy.
So, there I was, doing the dishes and selfishly wishing that everyone would just leave me alone for the day. My head was pounding, I couldn't stop coughing, and my stomach was flipping; a lovely combination of the flu and morning sickness. Just when I was thinking that it couldn't get much worse I turned around to see Ian playing with a couple of things that wouldn't fit into the into the trash can; two empty pop bottles, 3 small boxes, and a milk jug.
I opened my mouth to tell him no, but then I noticed how happy he was, and how good he was being. Then I just stopped to watch. I watched as he stacked them all like blocks, and how he played with them like a drum. He was so quiet, and so happy. And that's when I realized, why not let him play with them? He was just being a kid. And he wasn't really hurting anything at all.
That's when I realized that sometimes I take things too seriously. I don't let him play with the empty bottles next to the trash can because I like things nice and neat. I don't ever let him eat crackers in the living room because he might mash them into the carpet. I tell him not to wipe his little peanut butter hands on the table. But the truth is, sometimes I should let him. I own a sweeper, and a wash rag, and the bottles easily stack right next to the trash can again. Honestly, it isn't going to be like this for long. I know that I'm going to look back in ten years and I'm going to miss the sounds of his tiny feet running up and down the hallway. I'm going to miss just watching him be amused with the simple things, like empty boxes and pop bottles.
And that's when this song came to mind.
The truth is, how many phases have already flown by in the last 16 months? Pregnancy felt like it would never end, but now it seems so long ago, and I have embarked on the journey yet again. This time I know the savor it, and I know that though at times you just wish that it would end, but I know that in the long run it will just be such a sweet short phase that I'll wish that I could go back to every once in a while. I know how much I will miss being able to feel my sweet baby turning in circles in my belly.
And the newborn phase. The seemingly all night nursing sessions, and the constant quiet cry. At the time we were so sleep deprived, we thought that we would never make it through. Now I know how special those first few weeks were. And what of the phase before he could roll over, before he could crawl, before he could crawl, teething on his very first tooth, waiting for his first words, waiting for him to eat his first solids! So many phases are behind us already. It has all gone by so fast. Sometimes its hard to remember to stop and savor the moments that we are living in today.
This pregnancy has given me the chance to do just that. Sometimes I lay in bed and think about how I need to get everything I can out of these last months with Ian as my baby and not as my big boy. It's hard to imagine that 20 years from now, even if we have 10 children, Ian will still be our oldest. It's hard to picture him as anything but my baby.
I vow to stop and smells the roses more. I vow to let my baby be a baby while he still can, and to let my children be children, even if it means letting them play with the trash sometimes. =)