Someday :: Sarah Bessey

Someday I know I’ll be that lady in the grocery store, you know the one, the one who stops young mothers or fathers with toddlers in the little front seat cart seat with kids hanging off the end of the cart and the side of the cart with a baby strapped to their chests, the cart filled with bags of apples and two 4L of milk and three dozen eggs and cereal. I’ll stop these young people and I’ll say that their children are beautiful and then I’ll say things like enjoy it, it goes so fast.

Because it does. I know that even now. I know that because this nine-year-old who has grown almost as tall as me was so recently laying in my lap – wasn’t that just yesterday? – while I kissed the corners of her dimpled baby elbows and cried with disbelief at how much I loved her. I know that because I slept with a small baby boy up against my body for what felt like forever and now he’s almost the length of a twin bed with a sign posted on his door to “PLEASE KNOCK THERE IS A STAR WARS BOY IN HERE BEWARE.” I know that because I have a four-and-a-half-year-old who can’t stop won’t stop talking and dancing and running through life and yet in my head she is still the curly-haired baby of the family. And now the new little baby I gave birth to a second ago is crawling and walking around while hanging onto the furniture and babbling her first words on the brink of being a year old and wow blink blink blink they’re all such people.

It goes so fast. It’s true. And it goes slowly, too.

Those future-mothers-and-fathers will probably do what I do when I meet those ladies at the park and the grocery store and the bank, they will nod and smile through their exhaustion and say, yes, I know out of kindness and respect while something inside them is thinking but, lady, it’s also so tiring and kind of hard sometimes. 

I already feel a little far away from the things that once took over my whole life, I remember it as if it were a life I lived once upon a time but I’ve lost touch with that person – remember when I was pregnant with our third and I had two little babies under four and I wrote that first book? I say sometimes. That was nuts.

We had our first three tinies in four years and then four years after that we added one more baby to the mix right at the time when my writing began to reach more people and my husband’s career also became more demanding and we have never been so happy and so tired and so everything all at once. We both work and we keep this house and we are raising children to hopefully love God and to love people, and we all try to do a bit of good in the world right now, too.

Some nights, I get into bed and I think I have never been more tired and I will never be this tired ever again. I say things to my husband like I wish I could go back in time to smack my own self for every time I ever said that I was tired or busy before this time. He’s usually asleep already.

Other nights, I get into bed and say this is the best and I love every second of it and our tinies are amazing and gracious, I’m just so thankful. He’s usually asleep already.

Because this season of life is wonderful and it’s hard, too.

It is. I hope I remember that but I probably won’t so I thought I’d write it down for that someday.

This season of life with work and tinies and community is full and precious and wonderful and magical, absolutely. It’s exhausting and self-denying and relentless, too.

It’s so much laundry and big grocery bills and grimy handprints on the walls and wondering how in the world you’re going to pay for braces. It’s laughing until your face aches and feeling genuinely happy that your kids get the joke. It’s kissing every single birthmark on their skin and tickling their backs until they fade into sleep and then it’s also going to hide in the washroom because you just want two seconds without someone touching you. It’s running your hands through their hair at bedtime prayers and it’s also yelling at them all that everyone needs to stop yelling all the time. It’s loving what you do and yet feeling like you don’t have time to do it as well as you would like. It’s feeling powerful and alive and purposeful while also feeling like you can’t believe you have to sweep these floors AGAIN.

These are the days we’ll miss and these are the days that also feel like they won’t ever end. It can be both at the same time, I know that now. We get to hold the wonder and sleepiness, the boring and the magical at the same time, the work and the delight, the mundane repetition and the ferocious love altogether, it’s not one or the other.

I have never been so tired in my life. (There. Out loud. I said it.) I have also never been so happy or fulfilled. I have never juggled so much responsibility and learned so deeply what it means to be selfless. Such things are transformative if we allow them to be.

The Right Now is so beautiful, it makes me dizzy with gratitude and it also makes me want a nap.

So I hope someday that I will remember this complexity, too, when I get soppy over a cartful of someone else’s babies in the grocery store. I hope I’ll remember that when I say to that young mother that it goes so fast, that it’s true and also not true, it’s glorious and it’s difficult. And then I’ll tell her that I think she’s doing a great job, she’ll really see that someday.

 

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  • I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Thanks for putting it so beautifully.

  • Beth Reavis

    I love this. I am going through exactly the same thing right now. I struggle with looking back and wishing they were small again.

  • Jen Claus

    Just had our third.. the other two are almost 4 and 2. i FULLY agree with this and it spoke to me heart. To complicate things, we are living in the US right now and I miss my northern motherland terribly sometimes.. (I think you went through this too Sarah?)

  • MLBS

    I can so relate to the feeling of not wanting anyone to touch me again. And yes, it does go fast. But I am loving the teenage years, and I’m happy I still get to receive hugs.

  • Oh yes indeed, mama! You said it well.

  • khiemstra

    “The days are long, but the years are short” — can’t remember where I first heard this, but it has stuck with me, and seems appropriate to this post. Being able to see the positives in each new stage (my kids can make their own breakfast, now, hurrah!), helps to ease the distance from the time they were tiny babies.

  • Kim Bradley

    Today is my first baby’s twenty-first birthday. Next week he leaves for a semester in London. He clung to me as a small boy. Now he’s launching himself forward. The Right Now is still so beautiful.

  • Lisa Berry Nicholson

    So wonderful, Sarah. I am one of those moms now–telling every mom of tinies how fast it flies. My tinies are 16 and 19, and just yesterday they were brand new. Mothering the grown up ones is a new kind of tired–emotional because you miss them and see them struggle outside your protection–mental because you want and hope and wish and pray for them to be safe and successful and careful and wise and all the things you probably weren’t at their age either–spiritual because you want them to have the Godly wisdom you have earned at nearly 50 to make the right choices for their lives that you know can make or break a person but you were clueless about at their age and fought just as hard to figure it all out on your own. As exhausted as I was way back when they were new, I would trade it in a moment for this new tired. I just have to remind myself that each phase is special, and when I catch glimpses of wonderful, I hold on to them. I am working on reconciling with myself the truth that they won’t ever be tiny again and learning to enjoy the new relationships with my almost grown women, but I have to be honest about missing the days when I couldn’t even get a second to myself because they wanted to always be where mommy was….it goes so fast.

  • There. You just made me cry. Because, yes, that’s how I feel too. Exhausted, running my business from home, working until 2 or 3 in the morning, just to be back up at 7 am to start my day all over again. Giving a million kisses to my little miracle at bed time and when she DEMANDS them in the middle of the night. Loving her snuggles and begging for mercy when she invades our bed in the middle of the night and kicks us mercilessly in her sleep. Wondering how I ever lived without seeing her amazing, smart, funny little face every moment of my life, and, at times, wanting to run as far away as possible for a moment of peace and not to be touched one more time (I know I’m not the only mother/woman who feels like she’s reached her “touching” quota :).) The dichotomy of motherhood.

    All of this is wondrous, wonderful and so fleeting that I’m now crying typing this…or maybe it’s because I’m sleep deprived :).

    Great post.

  • Love. <3

  • Kathy @ Lifereallyblog.com

    I really resonate with this. Lately I’ve been having a hard time with the fact that I don’t have enough time to do anything as well as I want to. It helps to hear that someone relates, but can also find the beauty in this crazy season of being a parent to young kids.

  • Gosh Sarah, this really plucked at my heart strings! First, I love your bursting, joyful mother-heart! I always feel the fruits of the spirit fueling your life and motherhood..what blessings! I’m feeling the loss and joy that goes with watching my son — just turned 18 — bounding off to the desert camping with his pals (in below 30 weather), then coming home for a hug and kiss before leaving for a night out..my heart bursting full with love and loss..But the 2 days together, Christmas Eve/Day, no friends, no agendas, just cuddling, eating, sharing, loving as a family seemed some of the best holiday ever. I realize, I’ll always be momma..but in this season I’m just being twisted into new shapes with love and loss guiding, thankful I can do it in the arms of God’s grace and in the wake of other empty-nest women and of course all the grandmas…Thank you for your beautiful story!

  • This is great, Sarah. Thank you!

  • Alena Belleque

    Beautiful, Sarah. ♥ My daughter is 3.5 now, and has 11 siblings in heaven. I’m really starting to feel this pull of time and swiftly passing memories! This was a comfort, today.

  • It’s so difficult to write into a paradox, isn’t it? Yet you’ve done it beautifully. Being a mom to tinies is the worst and the best, not mutually exclusive but all at the same time. Thanks for giving us mamas this gift. I felt like you were plucking sentences from my brain— well, eloquently revised sentences. xo

  • Such graceful words. Thank you for sharing. Happy New Year to you and yours.

  • howellfam4

    with you on this sister. just last night my husband asked those gathered around a game of cards what our word for last year would be…? my first thought was SLEEPY. but that didn’t sound hopeful enough so I chose something different but gave a disclaimer. so much self-denying here too with 5 kiddos, half of them tween and teens and 2 tiny tag alongs just for good perspective. Blessings over your rest when it comes!

  • Kristy

    This is exactly where we are right now, and you said it so perfectly. It can be both. It can be so many things. Thank you.

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  • Rachel Russell

    Wow, as always love your writing. I’ve been feeling so regretful for not enjoying everything more, as my only blessing is snarkily gearing up for college. And this was a wonderful reminder that when that past was now, all I was was exhausted. This now is now — be here now.

  • Justin Brierley

    This could describe my wife and my feelings about our 4 children too Sarah! By the way, the Profile interview we recorded at Premier Radio in London airs (finally!) this Saturday at 4pm UK time on our radio station! http://www.premierchristianradio.com

    Love Justin

  • This is so well-written, of course. Appreciate your writing and the ability you have to form all the right words for all the mixed-up-falling-everywhere emotions that surround parenting. Love all of it and relate to most of it – thanks for sharing!

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  • Juliak

    This totally resonates with me – thank you.
    I heard someone describe these years as being like just 5 minutes …. but 5 minutes under water …..

  • This is so beautifully said. Thank you.

  • QueenMab

    I am 49 and I am the woman of ‘Someday’. My kids were all nursed for years, not months, and I miss it desperately. I see moms so tired and exasperated and want to say (and sometimes do), “Your children are beautiful, so enjoy this time, it flies! I know you are tired, but hold on and find the joy.”
    I have 3 kids, 16, 19 and 26 (the latter being recently married). I miss the time I had with my tinies. Honestly, as much fun as they are as young adults, it is harder being their parent now than it was the time in their lives when they just needed warm arms, a warm boob, and dry clothes.
    Oh, also wanted to say not one of mine ever slept well through the night until they were about 4 or 5. Now they all sleep fine and one lives in his own place and sleeps with his wife. It all works out.

  • Haha! I say this all the time…”I WILL be one of those ladies…someday!” But, today…today, I’m a wee bit tired, and can’t stomach picking up another toy, or more crumbs, or another spill on the counter…but I will, and I do, and I will try to remember to count it all as blessing! Thanks for the reminder that I’m not alone (: