Now that the holidays are almost here, I have all three of my girls home, including the two college students who normally live two hours away. It has been wonderful having them back under the same roof again. I find myself thinking back to when they were little, and how much our lives have changed since then.
When I got pregnant for the first time, there was no shortage of people offering “helpful” unsolicited advice, such as “You’d better sleep now, because all that ends once you have kids” and “Your time is not your own anymore. Get used to it!”
Yes, there were plenty of 2am feedings and 6am wake-up calls during the years when my girls were babies. But I can tell you that now, with more than 20 years’ worth of perspective, those middle-of-the-night feedings and early-morning wakeups were the some of the best, most treasured moments of my life.
I get personal satisfaction from my work, and from helping others, and I enjoy having time to myself just as much as the next person. But the times I spent just being there for my children were the most worthwhile.
As I type this, early on a Sunday morning, all three girls are upstairs fast asleep. The house is quiet, and I’ve been able to sit here and enjoy an entire cup of coffee without any interruptions. This is the kind of morning I remember thinking wistfully about all those years ago, but I would trade it in right now to have even a few moments back with my little ones, in their onesie pajamas, bright-eyed and giggling and smiling a toothless baby smile at sunrise.