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