Is This The Best Time of Our Lives?
When I have been out and about with our infants, I have received generous comments, everything from admiring their long hair to their irresistible dimples. And quite often I hear, “This is the best time of your life.”
Are there absolutely wonderful moments during this stage in our lives? Definitely – witnessing their first breath, step, giggle. Are there absolutely less than desirable memories? Of course – sickness, tantrums, endless nighttime feedings. Is it wonderful to cuddle a newborn baby – without a doubt.
I might be in the minority believing life is lived in chapters. The chapter might start with a new family addition, friendship, school, relationship, job, death of a loved one, home or life conversion. As I reflect on the past, I don’t necessarily think that one chapter of my life has been better than another because each phase has been so different and unique that it would be comparing apples to bananas. It would be the same as stating that the fourth chapter of the book is the best before finishing the entire novel. To have that perspective and wishing time to stand still – how does that benefit ours or our children’s outlook on life?
Granted, I should mention I am not one to dwell on the past. The past is meant to teach us and provide memories, good or bad. I do not cry while putting away baby clothes or shed tears at their PreK graduation because they are no longer babies, but because they have learned so much and have so much to enjoy and look forward to in life. I focus more on the moment as well as live and work towards the future.
So, when strangers, mostly older folks, stop to comment as such, should I start approaching life as if there is no better time in my life as this moment and those before it? For now, I have to say no. Yes, it is a great time – all of our children are young and healthy as well as those that we love. However, I have hope that tomorrow and the next will be just as exciting – kids arriving with accomplishments, starting new relationships and hobbies, finding their likes and dislikes and witnessing them becoming adults and hopefully families of their own one day. As for me, I will always be their mother despite their age, find daily fulfillment with my life and continue to drench myself with challenges and opportunities while surrounding myself with people and experiences that make me happy.