He spent two hours in line at Disneyland so they could meet them. That’s what a daddy does for his daughters. His little girls, one who loved princesses so very much, and one who loved what sister loved. Another trip we waited an hour for Tinker Bell. It had been all the talk of our youngest girl to meet the one she was convinced could give her the Pixie dust to accomplish her dream of flying.
This trip neither girl mentioned princesses or Tinker Bell. It was all about the fast rides for them. I remember looking over at Pixie Hollow while waiting in line for a ride. It hit me then. It was one of those moments when you see a glimpse of how fast time is going. We don’t live in that perspective because parenting is hard. Giving yourself all day to the demands of your child, or children, isn’t easy. It doesn’t seem fast. Sometimes it seems painfully slow. Helping with bathroom trips, mediating arguments, disarming siblings from cleaning tools turned weapons, cleaning, cooking, and repeating. Sometimes survival is the only name of the game. But then there are moments when you see the truth behind what every mama who has gone before you tells you. It is the passionate and heralding mantra of the older generation, “Enjoy this time; it goes so fast.”
I looked at my thrill-seeking girls and I missed the little faces that begged and pleaded to see the princesses and found such joy in the magical pretend world.
I hold on to this memory. When those same girls are fighting me tooth and nail, or their brothers have turned into Jedis or superheroes galavanting around the house at full speed and full volume, I try to remember the words of the women who have gone before me.
It’s similar to the secret any mom knows when she sees a soon to be new mom. Whether the woman is becoming a mom through adoption or pregnancy, the truth is the same. Any woman who is a mom knows what is in store for the woman, and she knows there is no way to prepare her for the journey ahead. A journey that will forever change her life. We smile. We offer advice. But when she walks away, she is just as clueless. She will understand that first hour, that first day.
In the trenches of the hard days, in the trenches of the giving everything days, I try to remember and hold on to the truth of the moms that have gone before me. But it doesn’t stick. It can’t stay. Just like those soon to be moms can’t get it. But one day, what is only a fleeting moment of realization will be my normal. I will reach out to some frazzled mom and try to encourage her to treasure the moments. She won’t be able to keep it, but perhaps in her most frazzled moment she’ll have a moment of that truth and soak in the beauty of the chaos.