"It gets easier," a woman once told me in the diaper and baby food aisle of the grocery store as my 5-year-old begged for a toy and I tried to soothe my crying infant. In a sleep deprived haze, I smiled at her, nodded and said "thank you."
"It gets easier," I told myself when a good night consisted of four consecutive hours of sleep and my hair was perpetually placed in a messy bun.
"It gets easier," the doctor said after I learned my youngest daughter had hypotonia. "It may not feel like it now, but years from today, you will be amazed at how far she has come."
"It gets easier," I promised myself the first time I drove to the hospital, booked a specialist appointment and held her in my arms for a blood draw.
"It gets easier," her babysitter reassured me when I returned to work. "Before you know it, there will be no tears." I wasn't sure if she was referring to my daughter's tears or my own.
"It gets easier," I reminded myself when it felt like she may never sit unassisted or crawl on her own or walk without support.
"It gets easier," I promised her when learning to write her name was still so new and so frustrating. "We just take our time and try our best. As long as you try, I am proud."
"It gets easier," I told her as she climbed up the playground steps for the first time without me by her side and headed towards the slide.
"It gets easier," I try to remind myself when there are tears and tantrums and meltdowns.
And maybe it does really get easier or maybe it just gets different. Maybe we become accustomed to the growing pains in life. Maybe we learn to embrace them as we grow. Maybe we say "it gets easier" to remind ourselves how resilient we truly are and to instill a sense of much needed hope.
"It gets easier," I whispered to myself as I watched her walk in for her first day of Preschool. Her book bag engulfed her small frame as I wiped a few tears from my eyes. I'm not entirely sure if it gets any better, but for now, I keep telling myself: "It gets easier."