Gretchen Rubin says it best in her book, The Happiness Project.
“The days are long but the years are short.”
Now, I know for some of my friends that have grown children (you know) I do not and cannot even comprehend the weight of what this phrase encompasses and I am not pretending to.
But I feel the longness of the days and just this week I am beginning to see glimpses of the shortness of the years.
My oldest son is in fact one-third gone. Saying that aloud and writing it down does not make that statement anymore believable to me. My son is one-third of his way out my front door and off into the world.
In the last year he has had some adult teeth creep up into those youthful holes in his smile and his feet have crossed over from little kid sizes and into real man sizes. (He wears a 1 to my husband’s 10.5.)
It was on his sixth birthday last January that I began to think of the weight of the truth: my time with him and I in this home, when I can still hold the grown-up card is one-third gone.
I cannot speak to having all the thirds gone but I can tell you the one-third crept up on me the same as those adult teeth did growing into my son’s smile.
There are parts about the years being short that I love.
Now, I love my children and I am not wishing them away but today I can be totally honest with you when I say- I loved my four children playing independently in the basement all morning with my oldest two steering the cruise ship instead of me.
In the shortness of the years I don’t know when my older sons began making up the games or getting out the toys for the day, I just woke up one day this summer and my children started making memories all on their own.
I love in the shortness of the years how I have quickly embarked upon a feeding time when I feel like I can eat a meal and have a conversation with my family.
I love the shortness of the years bringing us to a place where my kids can pump their own legs on the swings and play ant tag while I watch them interact from the window without my refereeing and whistle blowing.
And I grieve the shortness of the years too.
I grieve the shortness of the years when I think about my son who is one-third gone going off to first grade in a few weeks. I grieve because I know he will not be present around my lunch table five days a week.
I grieve because I know getting into the busyness of the long days at school will make the years seem even more shortened than they already do.
But I love where we are in our long days and our short years. I am so thankful for this time with these babes no matter how short the years may seem. I fight to live them big because I know some mommas don’t get to live all the years they want to with their babies.
In the long days and the short years I have a choice between sadness over the one-third gone or I can just love where we are today.
Because no matter what is gone or what is to come, today is what I have with my kids.
I think this is part of the journey. Not reminiscing and missing the days one-third gone and not trying to live too much in the grief of the hard loss which lies two-thirds ahead.
We can appreciate where we have been and anticipate with great hope what is ahead but most of all I am coming to a place where I feel it is so important to enjoy the todays.
When you realize the days are long and the years are short, you don’t start counting them and measuring them, you wouldn’t start counting your days if your doctor told you you only had a short time to live. You would enjoy the long days you have, where you are: one-tenth, one-third or one-half gone because you know the moments of making memories are precious.
So I’m fighting to enjoy me one-third gones and adult teeth creeping ins. Not seeing what is gone or what is about to be gone but seeing the six year old in my lap.
This is where God has me as a mom.
These are the long days He has given me in the years that seem to be so short.