Featured, Motherhood

On Freezing Time.

October 24, 2014


I never understood how fast time would go once I had a child.

You don’t know what you don’t know, until you know it.

When I was pregnant, women would stop me on the street and ask how far along I was, and if it was my first pregnancy, and if I knew the babies gender. The conversation would almost always lead to some sort of unwarranted, but typically well-meaning, advice.

I know you new mom’s out there get this: everyone has an opinion and for some reason other women feel the need to tell you theirs. (I could write an entire post on this, and how to handle the tsunami of advice and opinions that come during your first pregnancy, but I digress). In these conversations on the street with strangers who oddly often feel like friends solely based on the fact that we are both women who share the experience of pregnancy, the topic of time inevitably comes up. Specifically, how fast time goes.

‘Savor the little moments.’ ‘Let them sleep on your chest as much as possible.’ ‘Take pictures and videos of every little noise.’ ‘Don’t rush to have them grow up. They will on their own.’ ‘They’re only babies once.’ ‘You’ll blink and they’ll be in college.’

At the time, I could grasp what they were saying and sense the sincerity in their voices, but I could not feel what they were feeling.

Until now.

I take pictures and videos of Leo everyday. I say to Casper at least a hundred times a week that Leo is growing up too fast, or that he looks so big. Just yesterday he went down in the early evening for a brief catnap, and I swear when he got up 45 minutes later he was an inch taller.

I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I kiss this kid in one day. He will never be lacking for affection. I figure the day will come all too soon when he doesn’t want me to kiss him all over his face. Or is this totally okay until they leave for college? Please?


Something I’ve learned in my quick first year of motherhood: you cannot freeze time. Novel idea, right?! Can you believe we actually do not have the power to freeze time, or even slow it down? If I could have one super power, this may be it. (Although, the ability to fly would be nice).

As excited as I am to watch Leo grow and see the kind of man that he becomes, it also pains me. I know it is my job to help him grow into an independent, kind, and loving person; a person who can take care of himself and build his own life with a career, a family, and core values.

That is the point of being a parent. The painful, gut wrenching, counter-intuitive point. Raise them well, and let them go.

In the meantime, how do I deal with the always-present feeling of this bittersweet reality?

One thing I’ve found that works is meditation. I’m talking about meditating specifically on something related to Leo that feels like it is going to slip through my fingertips at any moment. Instead of getting weighed down by the sadness of how fast time is going, I focus on something about him that I love and treasure. By taking the time to pause and soak it up, it is mine forever, and it cannot be taken or lost.

I meditate on the way his hair spikes all over the place, and how it is too long in some spots and too patchy in others. And how it has five different colors in it: almost white, dirty blonde, light auburn, medium brown and little bits of dark brown like his dad and me.


I meditate on how he melts into my body when I rock him to sleep. He curls into my neck and shoulder and sometimes even grabs my face and schmooshes it against his right before his eyes close for good. And then his little body rocks back in forth against mine, and all is perfect and quiet and still for a moment.


I meditate on all of his little words and noises, or the way he walks with his chest sticking out as a means of keeping balance. Or how he dances like me, which happens to be slightly provocative when rap music is on. Or how he grabs a book and sits in the chair in the living room by himself, rocking and making dog noises when he sees a pup on the page in front of him. Or how everything is the word ‘hot’ right now. And he cannot see a candle without trying to blow it out.


I meditate. I pause. I savor.


And somehow, this really helps. The more I live in the present and savor the sweetness of these little moments, the more at peace I am with my lack of control over time. I worry less about ‘missing it’ or ‘missing out’ because I am living in a place of joy, acknowledging all the little treasures of the day as they come.


We cannot freeze or slow time. We cannot go backwards, or jump ahead. But we can savor the everyday; the usual and the obvious. It is in these things that the good stuff hides, waiting to be found, and celebrated.

Please take a minute to share something sweet and simple that you are savoring today.



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