I have a terrible memory. Ask anyone who knows me. There are so many stories about my childhood/teenage/young adult years that my friends remember but I don't that it's embarrassing. I don't know why I am that way, but I am.
That is partly why I write this blog. Because there are things about my children and their experiences that I want to remember but know I will forget. I want them to be able to have these memories when they are older. I want them to know that I was the one snapping the pictures. (That's why I'm not in any of them!)
I was struck tonight by the realization that my time with them during this particular developmental stage is so very brief. The stage where they will walk with me and lift their cherub faces when I ask for a kiss. The stage when they fight over who gets to sit next to mommy when we're reading a book. The stage when they are begging me to stop whatever chore I'm engaged in and come outside and play. How long will this last? Not long, I fear. There is only one time in a child's life when you are so central and important. When your word is law. When your hugs and kisses magically heal scraped knees. When they melt into you and you into them, as you cuddle goodnight.
I saw a grandparent walking with a toddler. I realized that this opportunity - the opportunity to be so important in the life a small child - comes once, maybe twice in a lifetime. What if my children decide not to have their own? Then this is it! I have this sense of urgency tonight. To make the most of every little moment. To stop and pick every last stinking dandelion they want to pick. To read every book in the house before bedtime. To kiss their cheeks until they push me away. I want to run up to their rooms right now and steal them out of bed. I want to feel them heavy in my arms and rock and rock them.
I know I'm being sentimental and foolish. I won't wake them tonight. But I will kiss all over them tomorrow, and if you have kids, I hope you'll do the same.