As a new mom, I bought a sea of books before your big arrival, and drowned myself in information. I wanted to prepare in every way I could. So, now that you’re finally here, it’s like the pages are all coming to life before me. All your little developments are unfolding like the chapters of my books said they would.
I’ve found myself saying “I can’t wait” a lot these past few months. “I can’t wait until she can wear this…go here… do this… say that” …and the list goes on.
But the truth is I can – and should – wait. This is the one chance I get to raise you. This is the one time in my life where you’re completely dependent on me. These are the years I’ll have on repeat in my mind when you’re long moved out and living your life as an adult. Why be impatient and wish it all away?
I know I’m not technically wishing these moments away. But every time I say “I can’t wait” for something, I’m not just enjoying the moment. A part of my mind is already turning the page on the next chapter. I’m anticipating “what’s next,” instead of soaking up where you are right now, what you’re doing, and how special it is that I get to share it with you.
Today, during a feeding, you grabbed the bottle and held it yourself. I asked myself – with welled up eyes – was that the last bottle I’ll ever get to hold for you? I would have cherished the prior feeding had I known it would be my last. That’s when it hit me: I’ve been so caught up in the excitement of all your new developments that I failed to realize many of your “firsts” come with a “last” of something else. I never know when these delicate transitions are coming, either.
You can apply that to just about anything in life, though. You usually never know when you’ll have a first or a last, but you spend a lot of time anticipating them both. It prevents you from being able to cherish, soak in, and enjoy each moment as if it’s your last.
Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. So, the next time you find yourself saying “I can’t wait,” softly whisper back with a “Yes, I can” and just enjoy.