Lately, the answer has been my children. What seems like a blink of an eye in my life is the entirety of theirs. My 31st, and 32nd and now 33rd just slipped by, huh?
Basically, for the past three years, I've been counting up (and counting down for that matter) in the developmental milestones that make up my kids' lives. Each week and month are more or less defined by their advancements: as they grow from the size of a pomegranate seed to a watermelon, as they add pounds and inches and move into the next size up; as they trade in random smirks for social smiles, roll over, and finally sleep through the night. As they crawl, cruise and walk; say a word, then a sentence, and then sing a whole song. My personal proof points seem piddly in comparison.
Take this week. When I pragmatically reflect on what I've accomplished, I'm at a loss. I slept (or tried to.) I ate. I bathed. But for the most part, I spent my days breastfeeding and filling bottles, changing soiled diapers and laundering teeny tiny outfits marinated in spit up, reading Curious George and watching movies that aren't on your Oscar ballot. There's a reason I've been having writers block - in my fatigued fog, I feel like I don't have much to write about.
I've heard people say that having kids means putting your life on hold. That essentially, as your time is reallocated to your offspring you surrender your momentum. While I agree that I've let much of my ego stray as a mother, I have never felt that my personal or professional trajectory is on pause. Rather, I believe I have added a new dimension to life and with it, placed it on fast forward. Yes, like anything in life that diverts us, there are days when I want to balk at the things I've lost or replaced or can't quite get to. But in the end, I remember that the work I'm doing these days has only made my life and the lives of the people around me that much richer.
But I have to admit, that the moments dedicated to me - the 'special days' from my husband, the weekends where visitors make my house a little cozier and my load a lot lighter, and the parties with extra crusty bread, triple chocolate cake, steak frites, and a little bubbly to celebrate me, help make time stand still again. And help me remember just how much I crammed into another amazing year.