Today, James and I ran to the store while my mother in-law watched Peter. When we got to the store I wrapped up James in my Moby and we were set. While in the store, James received a lot of attention. Several people remarked on his size, his cuteness, or they offered their congratulations and then asked about his age. There was one older woman who just melted at the sight of James. She told me that she had three children but only one was a boy. Then she said something that took me completely off guard. With a little shrug of her shoulders and a slight grimace she said that her son had died in an accident. She then proceeded to tell me that she was sure that wouldn't happen to my baby. I had no idea what to say. She remarked again on James cuteness, I said thanks, and wished her a good day.
I was still in shock by her comment. Was I supposed to be upset? I didn't feel upset. I just felt...sad. I felt great sorrow for her as I gazed down at my beautiful baby boy. The thought of losing him (or Peter) brings me to tears within a nano second. I can't imagine the pain she must carry. I don't know when she lost her son but she obviously has that pain with her everyday.
After I was done shopping, I loaded up the groceries into the car and then popped into the coffee shop near the store. As I was leaving two middle aged women stopped me and asked to see the baby. They told me he was beautiful. Then one of them told me to treasure every moment. I was about to agree with her when she stopped me. She said "No. I know that you say that you will, but you need to really mean it. I would say the same when my kids were babies. People would offer the same advice and I'd think I was treasuring every moment, but I wasn't. Really treasure it, because those precious fingers will be strong hands in the blink of an eye." Again, I was left with no words. I promised her I would treasure this time and then told them to have a great day.
Two separate women, two separate conversations, yet they said the same thing. It doesn't matter if you're a working mom, a part time working mom, a stay at home mom, or a mom that works from home, time speeds by. Motherhood is challenging and hectic but it is also beautiful and fulfilling. When those hard moments roll around it's important to remember what both these women said. Life is precious and it must be treasured at all times, not just when things are going well or when the kids are behaving. Even when Peter has thrown every single piece of food from his tray onto the floor, I need to treasure it. I don't have to be happy about it, but I can at least treasure it, because before too long, he'll be a teenage human vacuum, eating us out of house and home.
I love my boys with all my heart and I plan on treasuring every single (joyful and stressful) moment with them.