There is something bittersweet about watching an old season go and a new season come. There is excitement and anticipation in what is to come, but at the same time there is a small ache knowing that another season has passed.
This year I am trying to hold on to summer as long as I can. I love the sun, throwing on my running shoes in a moments notice to go outdoors, and the longer days. As the leaves are turning beautiful shades of orange, brown, and red I am reminded that summer has faded. The warmth of the sun has been replaced by a crisp coolness. I can already imagine our homes being covered by sheets of white snow. I look forward to warm cups of cider and tea, delicious and comforting desserts, and time with beloved friends.
I talk about seasons today because I have been amazed at the seasons I have been through the past year and a half. The other day, a friend of mine asked if her newborn baby will always want to be held as much as she does. The question threw me off guard. I forgot. I have only had Lillian in my life for eighteen months and already I forgot her habits as a newborn. I assured her that, no, her baby will not want to be held around the clock forever. Then it hit me. A tinge of sadness. I almost wanted to call her back and say, “Just hold that baby as much as you can. Relish it. Soon, she won’t be able to sit still in your arms.”
Yet I let it be. Why? I remember what it is like to be in a season. In the midst of a season that feels like it will go on forever, you are ready for the next. Just as you think you are about to break from exhaustion, frustration, or anxiety you find relief. However, as soon as you find relief and think you have mastered the art of parenting a new issue arises and there you are again, scrambling for help in the next stage of parenting. The cycle of parenting is endless, and we are always pushed to our limits and looking for relief and an end to the season. Nights of exhaustion lead to teething tots which lead to temper tantrums which lead to potty training problems.
The other day I realized I am drinking more coffee and sleeping less than I ever have. The seasons of my life are beginning to unfold at a rapid rate. I can hardly hang on to the ride of life. Between the play dates and bible studies and family times and workout routines there is not enough time in a twenty four hour period. I find myself in a place where I just want each season I am in to last longer. I want each day to stretch a little more. I want to savor the flavors, colors, and textures of where I am at right now so I can store it in my mind forever.
More than anything, I want to be content in the season I am in. I want to settle down in it and be right there, taking it all in. I don’t want to yearn for the past season or count down my days to the next. Right now I am in a season where I am chasing around an excited little toddler all day. She wears me out! I am tattered and tired. My hair needs a cut and my nails are not painted. I am lucky if I get outside to run. I haven’t been on a date with my husband in months. I have no time for shopping or pampering. When I get to go out it is to the park or the museum. Yet, I spend more nights cuddled up on my couch with my brilliant husband and sweet little daughter than ever. I laugh more than I have in years. I love to see the flecks and sparkles in my daughters eyes when she giggles. I long for more moments of solitude, and look forward to when I can be alone, write, and reflect on the beauty of life. I sense my heart changing during the transactions of life. I want less clutter, less busyness, and less drama. Because then I can take in more, focus better on what is timeless, and have more room in my life for the stuff that matters.