these are the days

I think these days are going to hold sweet memories I look back on with a certain fondness, the kind where the sound of kids' chatter and footsteps and the cold air biting my face and the weight of Chase in the sling will remind me of walking to the bus stop with my girls every afternoon to pick up my boy. Little, mundane things, sometimes things that seem like hassles, are going to be held in a special place in my heart. These are the days, you know? The days that are so, so very special.

I feel like it's taken me three kids to really understand what it means to slow down and drink in every moment. The other day I was reading a book while Austen and I were eating lunch. She kept talking and talking about something and I was not even really trying to listen. I was just about to tell her to quiet down and eat, because I was trying to read a book and she needed to hurry up so she could go have rest time -- but then I put my book down and watched her. Her amusement at this story she was telling me, the way she mispronounced her words with her baby voice, the way she smiled and raised her eyebrows and her eyes got all big, the way she covered her mouth with her chubby little hand (that won't be chubby for much longer... hold me) when she laughed. I loved it all, and I took a picture with my mind (a la Elizabethtown). It's little things like that that are the most important in my life and in my memory box, and I don't want to forget them or pass them by reading a book that I'm probably not even going to remember in a few years anyway.

I am soaking up these days with my kiddos. I am learning every day to truly appreciate the little people they are. I have so many things to be grateful for... my fertility, their health, their safety. Things we might take for granted in the day to day. When River was a baby I followed the blog of a mother whose sweet baby had cancer. She lost her daughter, Layla Grace, to the disease, and I remember reading a post of hers where she said she would get so annoyed with Layla before she got sick when she was trying to unload the dishwasher and Layla kept trying to "help" and was getting in the way. But that now, she would give anything to have Layla there, getting in the way, helping the way only a 2-year-old can.

As I've gotten older, I've seen people I love lose people they love. It's heartbreaking, sobering, eye-opening, and tragic. I don't understand it, and every time, it shakes me. I can only think of how lucky I am to have my children, all three of them, safe, healthy, and whole. I absolutely need to treasure each moment with them, because I don't know when those moments won't exist anymore. Life is unpredictable and I am truly not in control of anything, as much as I'd like to think I am.

I'm not saying I'm this saint of a mother who never, ever gets annoyed with her little angels. Oh my god, no! Because I tweet things like this.. a lot....

 But is it silly to say I want to be that way? I want to cherish every moment! I want to be thankful for talkative kids and helpful two-year-olds. I want to not worry about getting things done quickly, wasting time, having conversations with my kids when I could be reading a really great book. I want to store up memories of my babies because they are the three wonderful things that most fill up my heart and bring joy to my life. I'm a lucky, lucky mama.

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