“Enjoy This Time”

After a few cheapo digital clocks pooped out in my bathroom, I settled for this:

clock two

After which I was startled one morning by a consistent, soft, uniformly methodical metronomic sound.

It was an old fashioned clock ticking!! Something about this relatively inconsequential bit of “analog” in my otherwise digital world felt kind of meaningful, in a “some things still happen the old-fashioned way” sense. Having gotten on the theme of “time,” I decided to share a Facebook conversation with you. Part of my way of processing this bullet train of time I seem to be on called parenting teens.

Jill from Baby Rabies (who has three kids under six including a three-month-old) asked:

When you have a small baby, you get a lot of “enjoy this time” comments, especially from parents of older kids. And I know they all mean well. I do. But sometimes I feel like… this sense that I’m at this stage of my life that I’m going to mourn the loss of. It feels like I’m holding tiny hands and walking toward a cliff. And each step I’m like, “enjoy this moment, they told you to enjoy it, it doesn’t get better than this.” And it’s kind of… a sense of dread? Because there’s no coming back. I have a blog post brewing about all this, but just wanted to see if any other parents of littles felt the same way.

And I stumbled through this answer:

You know, I don’t know if I can articulate it (or I probably would have written a blog post about it!).  When my kids were infants, I would stare at them — at that unique curve of their neck into their big infant heads; at everything about them, and think “is this what I’ll look back on and say “you’re gonna miss this?”? // I would get SO irritated when people would say “oh just wait till (s)he’s a teenager // I wouldn’t understand that look people with teenagers/grown children/etc. would give me (a mix of wistful/condescending (sometimes)/you don’t know what you’ve got-ness).  I am a big believer in the fact that there is a certain amount of time you need to spend with your kids …. i.e., it’s not all just about “quality time” – it’s the rides in the car; the plain moments and yes the highly irritating moments. I DO miss it — although I can’t say in those moments I was “savoring” / “enjoying” (except the long long nursing sessions which were so intimate ….)  what I can say is that for me the experience of parenting teenagers ……. leads me to be one of those women who gives the look I talked about above ……. if I don’t take care to stop myself.

How about you? What would you say in response to Jill?