Time. It’s a funny concept. When you desperately wait for something it seems to not pass by. It seems you are stuck in the moment, not moving. But when you are scared of something or when you don’t want a moment to pass it’s over in no time. We all know that of course.
Over the last couple of weeks I found that time has slowed down, that I live more in the moment and that the days didn’t pass by like split of seconds anymore. That’s because things have slowed down (although I’m busier than usually but I have found peace). Yesterday, though, I was made aware again how fast time flies by.
I had a catch up with a dear friend of mine over coffee in the morning. We were sitting there catching up on what was going on in our lives when this mom entered the café. She had a little baby girl in the pram and you could see that she was a bit tense. She sat down next to us, the baby quiet and ordered what later turned out breakfast and coffee and sat down. The moment her food arrived the girl started crying.
Now, if you are a parent then you know the moment they cry and you can easily give them a moment to calm down. Either because you are calm enough or you know that the crying is not really meant seriously. But she was in a different space. You could see how she crumbled and was close to breaking down in tears. Haven’t we all been there as parents? I couldn’t help watching and I knew what she was going through right away.
I knew exactly how frustrating it can feel if you had a rough morning with your baby because they don’t settle and all you want is some food and a hot coffee and right in the moment you sit down, because you think the baby has calmed down and you are about to enjoy the food and the coffee it all starts again.
I watched on for a moment but not of long before I got up and asked her if it would be okay for me to take over the pram and gently rock it while she can simply enjoy her breakfast and her coffee. I think I have only seen such a wide smile on my children’s face. She was so grateful and once again was tearing up slightly. She said that the baby was unsettled all morning and that she was just not able to eat anything yet and that she thought the little girl had calmed down on the walk and that it would allow her to have something.
My friend and I kept talking while rocking the pram, chatting to the little girl who was happy while the mom was eating. Eventually the baby started crying again and after I asked if it would be okay to take her out of the pram I walked around letting her watch outside the window.
It was that very moment that I realized two very intense things. First of all how long it had been since I was carrying my daughter around like this. I felt the soft hair of the little girl against my cheek and I was taken back to the days my daughter was so little. It hit me that a decade had gone by since then…
10 years seem like a long time. A big number of years. And yet in that very moment it hit me how fast they slipped through my fingers. I know that I have spend as much time as possible with my children and I don’t feel like I have missed out on any special moments. But it was such a intense feeling to be aware of how fast the time has gone by. 10 years from now and my daughter and my son will most likely not live with us anymore and might have their partners. If they pass by as fast as the last 10 then they as well will be over in no time.
The other realization that hit me then and there was that one big chapter has definitely closed in my life. While over the last years every time I held a baby I sort of still thought about how it would be to have a third child this time around this question didn’t pop up. It almost felt like while I was holding the little girl and enjoying it, something inside of me said goodbye to the idea of having another child. I thought I had closed this book already years ago but quite obviously it only happened yesterday. It was a goodbye. Not that it made me feel sad or heavy. Just peaceful. The time has come to let this go for good. Writing and reading these words surprise me a lot. Especially as I had the impression for years now that the chapter was long read and over. Apparently it needed a little baby girl and her mom to properly close this part.
It was a wonderful morning. I had a fantastic catch up with my friend over a good brunch. The mom left with a smile on her face and a full tummy. And I left with the awareness that sometimes things you are not done and dusted with things until you can clearly feel it deep inside of you. And that you have to cherish every moment. No matter how hard it feels when you are in it as you will never get that time back…