Monday, 14 October 2013

Freeze The Day

Suddenly summer seems to have slipped by like a passing whisper, leaves are fluttering from the trees and landing softly at our feet as we go about our daily business, pepernoten line the supermarket shelves and the endless debates about Zwarte Piet begin once more, blogs are awash with pumpkins and Halloween and there are tweets galore counting down the shopping days until Christmas. 

It struck me last week as I watched my youngest turn two that time really is slipping by so fast. I found myself wanting to freeze the day. 

To pay attention to every little detail of my day. To not grow impatient during the morning battle to get three children out the door for the school run but cherish the stolen hugs between doing buttons and laces up. 

Photo Credit:T Rolf
To take my son's hand when he offers it on the way to the shops and cherish the warmth and innocence of that gesture. 

To not be preoccupied by Facebook whilst my three sons build a zoo with Duplo but to get down on the ground with them and help them with their masterpiece. 

To fully understand the depth of emotion behind a playground tussle and not wipe away the tears from my son's face and move on to the next job waiting for me. 

To commit the picture of my son cuddling with his favourite rabbit for comfort to memory.

To laugh with my children as they splash around at bath time and not scold for making puddles on the bathroom floor. 

To fully immerse myself in their bedtime story and not see it as a chore off the list when the evening is hectic. 

I suddenly wanted to capture the madness that is life with three young children, because as each day passes something is lost that I will never get back.

One day they won't want a bedtime story from me. One day doing up laces and buttons will be something my children do themselves on automatic pilot setting. One day they'll walk themselves to school. One day they'll refuse to hold my hand in public. One day I'll be fighting with them to take a shower, and the idea of splashing in the fun of a bubbly bath will be a distant memory. One day their favourite cuddly toy will sit forgotten on a shelf in a cupboard, filled with holes and split seams from years of dragging and holding. One day the Duplo and the Lego will be put away for good, bundled up for for other people's children to play with. One day my sons won't shed tears so openly. 

But until those days come, I am learning that every now and then I need to freeze the day we're in. Freeze the moment. Cherish it. Notice the passing moments. Suck in all the magical details. Realise what is left behind as each day turns into the next. My children will never be the same tomorrow as they were today. 


Nobody sums this feeling up better than Gretchen Rubin - two minutes of pure parenting emotion

7 comments:

Olga Mecking said...

What a beautiful post! Although I am not a huge fan of the "carpe diem philosophy. I feel that I can't capture all moments, all the time, and even if I could I wouldn't because it would make for me having to remember lots of moments that don't deserve to be kept. Moments that are important. Moments that are better forgotten and in the dustbin. Instead, I try to collect moments that count. Moments that are important. Moments that make me happy. By pusruing all moments I just waste energy, but by prioriziting, I make place for moments that matter. Does it make sense?

Amanda van Mulligen said...

Absolutely. We can't remember everything, and can't imagine anyone would want to - but practicing mindfulness every now and then as a parent is something precious I think. It's so easy to get caught up in chores, and things that are routine - and then one day you realise the routine has changed..... and you wonder where those earlier days went to! I think I'm more conscious of things changing because of a third child which is our last - so every development phase is the last one we'll go through. Just bearing this post in mind today has helped me be more patient and smiley!

Ace CB said...

Oh, this captures exactly what I have been feeling as my son's 4th birthday approaches and we get ready for kleuterschool. Some days I am waiting for the day to end and I know I'm not always taking advantage of these last few moments of his "babyhood" the way I ought to. As you say, it goes so fast, and one day it will be entirely different - so I'm trying to take advantage, but I can always do better.

Amanda van Mulligen said...

Ace CB - Oh , yes that's another great milestone which brings emotions to the forefront - starting school. A nice project I have planned is to capture a 'normal' day with my children from the moment they get up until they go back to bed - photos, journal writing - just to put down on paper what life with a 6, 3, and 2 year old looked like. Maybe that is something to capture before your 4 year old heads to school - and then again in a year's time when school is in full flow.....

Becky said...

Oooh, what a touching video and reminder to live in the moment. {wiping tears} Thank you so much for posting!

themovetoamerica said...

Lovely post! It is so interesting, depending on what is happening in your life, how time can be viewed. It constantly amazes me when I see children I once taught walk by as teenagers or young adults. It also seems like the years apart form my Hubby seem to have been so quick (now that our time apart is over) but so slow and agonising at the time!

Molly xx

4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle said...

I love that video, so so true. As you know, I couldn't agree with you more! xx