Rocking Chairs & Running Out of Time

Rocking Chairs & Running Out of Time

My husband has tried to convince me to get rid of the old rocking chair that sits in my 4.5 year old’s bedroom many times. He says it takes up too much space. We bought it from a yard sale group on Facebook before she was born and I have spent countless, priceless hours in it with her. We definitely got our money’s worth. That old chair doesn’t see much action these days but I just can’t part with it. Not yet. See, the moments in that chair are rare, but they’re so special. Last night was one of those rarities; one that brought me to joyful, nostalgic, bittersweet tears. I’m running out of time.

In one week, my first baby will start GA Pre-K, which is Georgia’s official pre-school program (she’s academically and emotionally ready for Kindergarten, in my opinion, but her birthday misses the state cut-off by 17 days). It dawned on me a few weeks ago that I was rapidly running out of summer. Running out of time with her. And I started freaking out. The end of summer had never been an issue before because while she’s been in private pre-school for nearly 2-years, it was on my terms. I got to decide when she got dropped off and picked up and when she stayed home and when she went to school. But all that is changing now. My oldest baby will be in school M-F from 8:00-2:30, just like a big kid. And I only have a week until that starts.

Once I realized time was slipping away, I started trying to cram “summer” into three weeks. We’ve had ice cream and popsicles. We’ve eaten lunch and dinner outside. We’ve played with sprinklers and kiddie pools. We’ve gone swimming. We’ve gone to Chuck E. Cheese’s. We’ve picked dandelions. We’ve lit fireworks, stayed up late, and had dance parties. We’ve gone to playgrounds, eaten cake pops, and cruised the mall. Todd even took her fishing. Later this week I hope to take A on an overnight trip, just her and me; one last “hoorah” before we settle into our first real school year together.

Do you know we only get 18 summers with our kids before they leave for college?

This is the end of my summer #5 with her. Only 13 more.

Mom guilt rushes over me a lot. I’ve been home full-time for months and yet I still sent her to school 3x a week. I know in my heart that’s what we both needed but hindsight can be a real jerk sometimes. Hindsight makes me feel guilty. Have I spent enough time with her? The truth is, A is my life’s greatest challenge; I firmly believe God sent her to humble me. She and I can be like fire and gasoline sometimes and we I definitely need the time apart. But when we’re not butting heads, she’s the sugar on top of my strawberries; she melts just right and makes everything sweeter.

Back to the rocking chair. Last night, A woke up to use the bathroom and was crying because she didn’t feel well (she has been under the weather for 2 days now). After she was done in the restroom, I scooped all 42 pounds of her up in my arms and we rocked in that old rocking chair, chest to chest with her long legs straddled around my waist, just like she did as a baby. She found a bare spot on my chest and rested her sweet face on my skin. While we rocked, she fell asleep. And I held her. And I cried.

I cried because I was overcome with love. I cried because I know these moments are numbered. I cried because I remembered the nights I nursed and held her in that chair for hours because she wouldn’t sleep without me. I cried because I couldn’t remember the last time she slept on my chest. I cried because she’s growing up so fast and isn’t going to stop anytime soon. I cried because my baby – my first baby – isn’t a baby at all anymore (and hasn’t been for awhile). I cried because it won’t be like this for long. I cried because being her mom is my greatest challenge and my greatest joy. I cried because we need each other.

I cried because for a brief moment, time stood still.

I have one week of summer left with my oldest girl. I plan to spend it by putting some more miles on that old chair.

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34 Comments

  1. August 19, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    This is so sweet and totally makes me tear up thinking of my own little babes. My oldest starts pre-k next month, ugh! Where does the time go?!

    • Shannnon
      August 19, 2017 / 9:47 pm

      It goes so fast, right?! And it’s so bittersweet because growing up is what they’re supposed to do and each new stage is fun and exciting but, for me, there’s always a little bit of mourning the stages that are over. Thanks for reading!

  2. whatmamaknowsaboutcake
    August 5, 2017 / 4:17 am

    I so know what you mean!! But I’ve been trying to fight the sadness lately. Our kids will still need us when they’re grown up – just in a different way… 🙂

    • Shannnon
      August 5, 2017 / 8:59 am

      Exactly. It’s so bittersweet- saying goodbye to one season but being so excited for the next!

  3. July 26, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    Ugh, this is so true! Sometimes when I catch myself feeling annoyed at my almost 4 year old son being clingy, I have to remember that he won’t always want to cuddle with me. That always helps me to relax and just be in the moment with him. 🙂

    • Shannnon
      July 26, 2017 / 10:41 pm

      Yes! I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for reading!

  4. July 26, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    I have so many items from when my baby was just a newborn that I cant get rid of. I understand you. It’s hard to realize that they are growing up too fast and they’re not our little babies anymore.
    http://www.amrieavenue.com

    • Shannnon
      July 26, 2017 / 10:41 pm

      Me too! There are certain things I’ll probably keep forever!

    • Shannnon
      July 26, 2017 / 10:42 pm

      Yes, girl! Thank you so much!

  5. July 26, 2017 / 12:41 am

    My only son just turned two, but i already feel this guilt, even though he doesnt go to daycare. I feel the guilt every time he spends a day at grandmas, or just at home with dad. i think every mom knows this feeling

    • Shannnon
      July 26, 2017 / 10:43 pm

      I think you’re right! But we can’t spend every moment with them, either! It’s not good for anyone. 🙂

  6. The Everyday Mom Life
    July 25, 2017 / 11:25 pm

    It’s crazy how fast time flies by. 18 summers just doesn’t sound like enough in life. We start kindergarten this fall!

    • Shannnon
      July 25, 2017 / 11:35 pm

      I agree! It really isn’t enough time! Good luck with your first day of Kindergarten, Mama! ❤️

  7. Shell
    July 25, 2017 / 9:30 am

    Time does fly by…. cherish all these sweet moments while you can… and then hang onto those memories when they are 19, in college, and know EVERYTHING LOL 🙂

    • Shannnon
      July 25, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      Hahaha! I will do my very best for sure! Thanks for reading!

  8. July 24, 2017 / 11:54 pm

    Aw this is so sweet Shannon and I never thought of the amount of summers we have with them before. Time really flys by doesn’t it. I hope your transition into Pre-K is a good one. ♥️

    • Shannnon
      July 24, 2017 / 11:56 pm

      Thank you, Nicole!! We just don’t get that much time!! And, I hope so, too. Thanks for reading!

  9. alytyghter
    July 24, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    I’ve had some of these same moments lately and my babies are still young 4, 2, and 8 months. I find myself looking at baby pictures of each of them and sobbing remembering how small they were. However, when I see them now, I’m excited for all of the fun things to come and all of the milestones we get to experience together.

    • Shannnon
      July 24, 2017 / 11:18 pm

      Yes! It’s so very bittersweet! I’m so excited for what’s ahead but I can’t help but grieve what’s already over. Thanks for reading!

  10. Traci Caswell
    July 24, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    I’m a wreck over here on my stool in my kitchen island. Thanks for making me stop for a moment in your words and grab my boys for a quick hug. You know, because they can’t be smothered in kisses by mom. Lol

    • Shannnon
      July 24, 2017 / 11:18 pm

      Haha! Too cool for mom. Thanks so much for reading, my friend! Hug those boys tight! xo

  11. July 24, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    I totally know what you mean. These summers are precious and they go back so fast. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

    • Shannnon
      July 24, 2017 / 11:19 pm

      They go by way too fast!

  12. July 24, 2017 / 1:02 pm

    18 summers sounds like such a small number. My oldest is 9, and I was just thinking the other day that we’re already half way through her time living with us (most likely). It’s so sad, but just pushes us to enjoy our time we have.

    • Shannnon
      July 24, 2017 / 11:19 pm

      OMG that *is* so sad!! You’re so right, though!

  13. July 24, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    Oh my gosh Shannon… I’m a puddle over here. So emotional to read this as my son starts preschool in 3 short weeks and I never realized how much I will miss him- until I read this. I’m a puddle of tears right now. So well written

    • Shannnon
      July 24, 2017 / 11:20 pm

      Aw! Thank you so much for reading, Amanda! I’m sure you’re both gonna do great!

  14. July 24, 2017 / 11:31 am

    Beautiful post. It all goes so fast. Too fast!

    • Shannnon
      July 24, 2017 / 11:20 pm

      Thank you, Holly! WAY too fast!!

  15. July 24, 2017 / 7:05 am

    Ugh don’t get rid of it! We ditched ours when we moved to Florida and there are times I so wish we still had it. I miss rocking her.

    • Shannnon
      July 24, 2017 / 11:21 pm

      Oh I’m so not getting rid of it! That’s a fight I refuse to lose! I would be so sad! Thanks for reading, girlfriend! xo

  16. July 24, 2017 / 2:37 am

    My children are still little, my oldest turns two in a few weeks! but I totally understand this, I obsess and dread over the days when they become old enough to need another mentor over me. (Teacher or whoever that may be!) I look at the memorable things they grow away from and I’m conflicted about giving them away or hoarding them forever. Such is the mom life.

    • Shannnon
      July 24, 2017 / 11:22 pm

      I know exactly what you mean! I make it a point to only save their absolute favorite things and the things that have a sentimental value to me. Motherhood is so very bittersweet, isn’t it?!

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