Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wishing Time Away

12 years ago I gave birth to a beautiful bouncing baby boy.  It was such a relief to have that ball full of energy out into the world where he wasn't kicking and punching me for a good 20 hours out of every day.  Ironically, when he was born he was quite the snuggler.  If you held him, he would sleep soundly for hours upon hours.  If you laid him in his crib, playpen, bouncy chair, swing, or anywhere else, he was awake in 20 minutes or less.

Baby, childhood, infant

In his first year of life, he went to the hospital more times than I can count.  We were there so many times, the ER nurses knew our insurance information by heart.  Between the middle of the night cases of croup, the asthma complications, ear infections, and the capper:  RSV, I learned more than I ever needed to know about an infant's breathing.  Most of the gray hairs on my head now came as a result of having to learn how to pacify a baby enough so he'd allow a nebulizer mask to be put on his face to receive his asthma medication so he could breathe.

I'm not sure how many hours of sleep I actually got in his first year of life, but I'm betting I have more fingers and toes than I did actual sleeping hours.  Many long hours, both day and night, were spent rocking him in the rocking chair, as well as watching Barney's Super Singing Circus every 2 hours so he wouldn't notice the nebulizer in his face.  Oh, how I had a love/hate relationship with that blasted dinosaur.  In those days and hours of frustration and exhaustion, I can't even count the number of times I thought about how nice it would be when he was older and we both could get some sleep.

I wished those days away without even truly realizing it.  Now he is older, and in less than 3 years he'll have his driver's permit.  In 6 years he'll be graduating from high school and heading off to college.  Instead of wishing for the years to pass so I can get some sleep, I really want time to freeze.  I want to have lots of memories I can hold onto when our nest becomes empty and his room stays clean for months on end, or I look in the cupboard and realize I don't need to go to the grocery store 2-3 days a week to restock what he's devoured.

In just a few short years, the quiet I enjoy today while my kids are in school will become a deafening silence.  Now where there is shouting, arguments with his sister, rough-housing with his friends, and Nerf gun battles that take place throughout the entire house, in 6 years time it will all be replaced by quiet........ lots and lots of quiet.

I will be hanging onto these next few years memories with an iron fist.  I may even enjoy every time I have to ask him to make up his bed, pick his shoes up out of the middle of the living room floor, or take out the garbage.  As he enters the teenage years, he may drive me batty with his excessive energy, teenage eye rolls, and attitude, but I'm going to put every single one of his mannerisms in my memory bank.

Just as my mother said would happen, my perspective has changed.  When I hear a mother talk about how her infant sleeps soundly through the night and how wonderful it is to get things done around the house, I think "how sad". We have a lifetime of doing laundry, cleaning, and picking things up, but only a short while to enjoy our children while they are small. 

What I saw 12 years ago as an exhausting, thankless job was actually a blessing filled with hours of snuggling and cuddling with that little bundle of snips and snails and puppy-dog tails.  Yes, I still look forward with great anticipation to seeing the man he will become, but for now, I'm going to relish in the teenager he's about to be.

Written by Christie Bielss


  1. O my what an emotional blog post Christie. I had tears in my eyes as I was reading it both for what you have been thru and coming to the realization that I too have had the attitude of "can't wait till this craziness is over". Thank you for writing this! :)

    1. Thank you! Looking back on all of that snuggle time and being able to watch that sweet little face as he slept, are the things that warm my heart tremendously these days. They're only little for a very short time. Enjoy it while you can!