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There was a time where I would be on 3 hours of sleep, loading all 3 kids in the van to get to the grocery store with the one hour a day I had a vehicle to use. ⁣

I’d drive across town to the one grocery store that had the carts with two seats for 2 kids, while my oldest would walk beside me and a child harness ready for when the middle one lost her patience for sitting. ⁣

Almost ever trip, without a doubt, someone older would come up to me, smile at the children, gently put a hand on my arm and say “it goes by so fast”. ⁣
I’d smile back, thinking, “I’m ready for it to”. ⁣

The days were long. ⁣
The days were exhausting. ⁣
I never knew if I was doing a good job. ⁣

I’ve been a mother for almost 14 years now and it’s like that hand on my arm and those gentle words are finally making sense. They weren’t there to project their own sadness for the days gone by, but to ask me to see and to understand that these were the days, all of them. I was in them. That it’s just really hard to see it when you’re not sleeping, and over-pouring yourself in a generally thankless job. ⁣

The last few days have been incredibly emotional for me. The complexities of being a mother, the slowness of the individual days that collectively seem to be going at lightning speed, after all. ⁣

But I guess that’s the point. ⁣
Like childbirth, you forget the pain and remember the joy. It all goes by so slow in the moment, and so fast in retrospect. ⁣

Once again the balance of what we capture and what we release. ⁣

I wonder if I’ll ever be the woman who stands in the grocery store, lays a gentle hand on a new mother, and says “it all goes by so fast”. Or if I’ll just smile and nod, quietly root her on, and sit with the memories of all that I had the blessing to capture, when the days were mine. ⁣

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