Being a parent is a constant reminder that time slips away quietly like the moon disappearing behind the sky and it’s only the sudden bleakness from moments that have come to pass, which brings to mind the way things once were. I sometimes regret that I can’t quite recall the details of my son’s baby milestones from fourteen years ago, and it’s the kind of truth that always makes you wonder if you are savouring every moment to the last drop. This past week when we moved Fraya into her own room, I had a deep longing to relive the months when I could gaze at her while she slept and greeted each morning with her wiggling body grinning with excitement to see me standing above her bassinet. I shed my first tears of sadness since Fraya was born because I’m suddenly reminded that we are once again on the trajectory of slowly meeting milestones with a heavy heart. And I somehow felt connected to all of us parents travelling on this same journey, watching our children gradually run farther from us and their independence grows an ironic yearning in the distance they’ve left behind. We often come to realize that those days that are now behind us were indeed the best of times, so here’s an ode to all the parents:
The new parents embracing the warmth of their baby’s flesh on their body for the first time, wondering how they created such magic, savour the joy this perfect moment for someday you’ll strain your memory to recall that bliss.
To the exhausted parents stealing sleep in odd places because their baby’s body is always attached to their chest, enjoy that bond, a time will come when they will wrestle from such closeness.
To those tirelessly chasing busy, restless bodies, enjoy the thrill, for these may be the purest fun you’ll ever have.
To those putting one foot in front of the other surviving meltdowns, tantrums and whining, you’re doing the best you know and someday you’ll miss when could solve their problems by kissing it better.
To the exasperated mommies and daddies telling another bedtime story, scratching imaginary itches, answering unrelated questions when sleep is long overdue, please enjoy this irony because a time will come when they will be sleeping more than you can handle.
To those parents marching along on the first days of school, filled with pride wondering how their little baby grew so big, enjoy their excitement because it may not last forever.
To those reaching the limits of their patience from still debating the same point, enjoy this chatter for a time will come when you’ll ask for more words to fill their silence.
To all the parents resting their weary heads at night, blissfully exhausted as they recall the small miracles you’ve performed today to get everyone where they needed to be, enjoy this contentment for a time will come when they won’t need you as much.
To the parents meeting each struggle with doubt, feeling defeated that you are not getting it right, enjoy your resolve to begin anew ‘starting now’, a time will come to make peace with the past.
To those parents climbing over the molehills and mountains with teenagers who rarely do all they claim to know, a time will surely come when you will all reminiscence over these stories.
To the parents whose children are spreading their wings way past your bed time, as you lay awake imagining the worst, enjoy the relief of a child returning home safe, a time is coming when they’ll soar to new grounds.
To the parents wondering if they’ve done enough to prepare your growing child for their new horizons, enjoy the freedom of learning to let go. A time is coming when all you can do is support their choices.
To the parents who are on the other side of childhood crying tears of joy at graduations, farewells and celebrations enjoy the blessing of finally seeing how your love brought every moment together.
To the parents becoming grandparents, embracing the warmth of your grandchild and experiencing the magic of unconditional love, this is joy of doing it all over again.
To the grandparents who never stopped being our parents especially when our journey met broken roads, hearts, dreams and homes, we cherish the love of always being your children.
To all the parents at every stage of life looking for meaning in the imperfect occasions enjoying the mystery of not yet knowing that these moments will become the glory days when life was as good as it gets.
Which stage of parenting do you now see in a brighter light now that it’s passed?
“Steeping joy, brewed with all that life has to offer”
All professional images by Janet Cruz Photography, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada