A post that's making its way around social media recently reminded me that they'll never be this small again.
Tomorrow they will be one day older, slightly taller, and weigh just a little bit more. The youngest one might speak just a bit more clearly. One of these days, his sporadic correct pronunciation of the letter L will turn into always getting it right. Soon, he might even be able to say his R's. The oldest will, eventually, stop saying vitafin. Although, I vow not to have anything to do with telling him.
Tomorrow they will go to second grade and kindergarten.
Tomorrow they will go to the prom.
Tomorrow they will be men.
Here and now, in the daily grind of FINISH YOUR BREAKFAST and GET YOUR BACKPACK WE'RE GOING TO BE LATE and GET YOUR BASKETBALL SHOES OFF THE BATHROOM COUNTER, it seems impossibly far away.
From here, I see what seems like a lifetime of science projects, skinned knees, report cards, vomit, broken hearts, inevitable bad choices, math problems. Endless volumes of math problems stand between now and then.
But, somehow, someway, it's already been seven and a half years. They sleep through the night. They feed themselves. They don't spit up on my clothes--at least not normally. They clean their own playroom when, for years, I thought that particular goal would never, ever, in this lifetime, be accomplished. They read. They're toilet trained. How did all that happen? How was all of that accomplished?
They still want me to snuggle with them at night--a sacred moment or two that will be gone before I know it. Sometimes I just want to kiss them and take a shower. Sometimes I don't want to crawl up onto the top bunk because, one of these days, I might die trying to get back down. Not today. But maybe tomorrow. I remind myself that the oldest is full steam ahead with eight on the horizon and the little one is not so little anymore. So I climb up. I wrap my arms around that warm body--lanky with limbs and life. And sometimes I sing because they still want me to.
"525,600 minutes. 525 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes. How do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter in strife."
"Mommy! Are there really that many minutes in a year? Whoa! That is so many!" he exclaimed.
How do so many go so fast? I wonder.
9,460,800. That's roughly how many minutes I get to raise these guys. Nine and a half million minutes. That's so many. What will I do with all those minutes? And why do I know, inexplicably and without a shadow of any doubt, that it will never ever be enough?
And how many of them will I make worth remembering?
They will never be as small as they are today. Tomorrow, a little less of them will fit into my arms.