Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What's a Year Anyway?

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12 NIV)

I've become a little uncomfortable at how fast a year goes by.  I remember being a child and the school year crawling like a turtle in a tar pit.  Now it seems that by the time I work up the nerve to put on a swimsuit, autumn is dropping her leaves and it's time to bake Christmas cookies.  The sense of time speeding up was never more apparent than after my children were born.

 James was colicky and didn't sleep that first year.  Dustin and I didn't sleep much either, and therefore so much of that first year is cloudy.  Of course I remember his first tooth, his first steps, the magical sound of "ma-ma" and  the hilarious time that Dustin tried to "scare" the hiccups away from our then three week old son.  Those are easy to remember, but what about the everyday?  The feel of downy hair against my face, the exact pitch of the hunger cry only Mommy can fill, the hefty weight of that sleeping boy in my arms.  These things are sadly harder to conjure the further away they get. So, what do you do when you forget what babies smell like?

Have another.  Evie wasn't colicky.  She didn't cry.  Her infancy was marked by a feeling of gratitude and pride. Grateful for her good nature, pride because surely I'm such an awesome Mom that I must be responsible for this...right?  This is the kid that we took to the pediatrician convinced that she was broken.  Our complaint?  She slept too much and didn't cry.  I still remember the look on his face when he asked us what we were expecting from a newborn.  We explained the colic situation during our first go-round and he clapped Dustin on the back and said this was how it was supposed to be.  Wow, this was parenting on the easy button.

Now I find myself at the beginning of another year trying to figure out where the last one went.  Evie's sweet downy baby hair is getting thicker and longer.  She squirms to get down more.  My once chubby James is a rail thin pre-schooler.  2012 is here, and to this child of the 80s and 90s it still sounds like science fiction.  A whole new year of challenges, setbacks, ice cream cones, heartache, cheeseburgers, milestones, snowstorms, and opportunities are here for this family.

 Are we brave enough to face it?  Strong enough to face it united?  Humble enough to know on which side our bread is buttered? My personal challenge...remember this year.  Take the time to sit and let my baby fall asleep on my chest.  Tickle my three year old until he can't take it any more.  Take the time to thank my husband for providing for his family.  Take the time to really talk to God, and unplug my ears when he starts to answer.  2013 will be here tomorrow after all.

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