I heard this saying recently, and it has really resonated with me: The days are long, but the years are short. As a mother of two young boys, my days are always long. Not in the sense that I get bored and have nothing to do–I don’t think any mom would claim that lie–but long in the sense that it is just one thing after another and never a moment to just breathe and soak it all in. But, at the same time, I look back at even a few months ago and I get nostalgic at how much my kids have grown and changed. The days are long, but the years are short.
Today I was having one of those “long” days. David was throwing an unbelievable temper tantrum over my refusal to let him accompany me outside in the freezing wind to scrub dog poop off of my shoe. I know, I’m a terrible mother. And when I came inside from my 3 minute foray with a scrub brush, his room suddenly looked like this:
The screaming and the crying and the throwing of things was starting to make my blood boil. I could tell that we both needed to just calm down a bit, so after the screaming and the crying and the throwing of things subsided I invited David to cuddle up on his bed with me so we could read a story together. This is the book he chose:
I’ve read this book probably a thousand times and yet, somehow, it still makes me cry every time I read it. I usually can make it until the last page before the tears start, but today was different. Maybe it was because Jacob’s been giving me the good ‘ol wakeup call at 5:00 every day for the past 2 weeks, or maybe it was just because I was emotionally spent from David’s last tantrum. For whatever reason, though, I opened the book and just started crying (confirming David’s suspicion that I really am a nut job).
You see, the book starts with this mother. She’s so in love with her baby boy. Every night she rocks him to sleep and as she does she sings, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” Sob.
Then her boy grows. He gets into mischief and causes her grief (sound familiar?). But still, every night, she sneaks into her room and sings the same love song to her bigger boy.
And that really got the waterworks going, because it so reminds me of my bigger boy:
David insists on falling asleep with his bedroom light on so he can read books until he passes out. And every night I sneak into his room, pry the books out of his limp hands, cover him up, and kiss his sweet, peaceful face (I also usually snap a photo because he’s just so dang cute when he’s sleeping).
Well, the book continues with the boy growing and changing and becoming a man–and still, the mother sneaks into his room at night and sings him her love song.
Then one day the mother is too old and frail to sing to her son any more. So instead, he holds his mother and sings the same love song to her. Gulp.
And the story ends with the son returning home to his brand new baby girl, to whom he sings, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.”
Yes, indeed: The days are long, but the years are short.
When the story was over, David snuggled up to me and said, “I love you, Mommy.”
I love you, too, David.
I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.