Dear Future Self,
I don’t know you like you know me. I don’t know what has passed between us. I don’t know what occupies your time, your thoughts, your prayers. I don’t know what joys and pains you have experienced or how you’ve grown (how I hope you’ve grown!). I can imagine these things, but you have lived them.
You have my future now. You have my someday life and, some days, I feel I’m coming at you with full speed to claim it. But I have something you can never have again:
Presently, the girls are 5, months shy of 4, and weeks shy of 2. I've always been keen on savoring moments - stopping to take in the sights, smells, and sounds of a scene, wrapping them up as a memory, a gift for you. It's impossible to stop and savor every moment of my life as I’m busy keeping the tiny humans alive. I’m only five years into this mom gig and I already know it to be true that I could spend all my days gazing into their eyes and I would still wish I had more time. I would still feel I hadn’t gazed enough. I ask for your grace because I know I won’t do this perfectly, but I’m savoring as best as I can for your sake.
Because you will not have the pleasure of sinking your kiss into the fat of their cheeks or tracing the dimples on their hands or pressing the padding of their feet.
You will not rock the littlest to sleep smelling her freshly-bathed goodness.
You will not hear their hilarious attempts at pronouncing new words.
You will not listen to the chatter and giggles and singing of little sisters at play.
You will not see today’s faces again.
Even still, I do not wish to freeze time. If I had done so when the oldest was a baby, I would not have known my love for the younger dear ones. If I had stopped time a year ago even, I would not have had the joy of getting to know each of their hearts better as they grow and learn. I would not have experienced the profound delight of discussing big truths with them. I would not have been able to watch them discover their talents and gifts and begin to use them.
This is the sweet to the bittersweet of the whole “time marching on” thing: there are new joys ahead. Each season, each day, has its own difficulties and its own good. I don’t wish to trade one for another. I just want to be present enough to be grateful for what I have now. I just want to look up from the chaos and the crazy every now and then long enough to see and feel the weight of the good I have in this moment. No, I don’t want to freeze time...maybe just still it long enough to make this moment a lasting memory.
Katie, I pray you know new joys with these precious ones but while I’m here, I’m holding them tightly, staring deeply into their eyes, kissing those sweet cheeks, and attempting to sear this season into my heart…for you.