My mom has always said, “This too shall pass.” When I was young, it was her way of helping me find the sunshine after the storm. Whether I was devastated from not making a team or broken hearted from a break-up, she would give me a hug and say, “This too shall pass.” And she was right, it did.
After the birth of my first child I was in the throws of my weepy, “I have no idea what just happened to me” phase and she would give me a hug and say, “This too shall pass.” And she was right, it did.
When I blinked and had three children under the age of six I found myself juggling temper tantrums, feedings, and dirty diapers. As you can imagine my mom gave me a hug and would say, “This too shall pass.” And she was right, it did.
But one day she said it just a little bit differently or maybe I heard it differently. She said it from a place of wisdom. She said it because, it wasn’t just the crazy, out of control, insane times that were passing me by, it was the joyful times as well and she knew it.
While time was taking away the temper tantrums in our home, time was also taking away the moments just after the tantrum when my little guy hugged me tight and said he was sorry as I wiped away his tears and told him how much I loved him. While time was taking away the middle of the night feedings, time was also taking away the moments when I would stare down at my little girl as she gripped my pointer finger with her tiny hand drifting in and out of sleep. And while time was taking away buying packs and packs of diapers, time was also taking away the joy of making my baby laugh as I played peek-a-boo or blew kisses on her belly just after a diaper change. I was missing the important moments in life by only focussing on the crazy, out of control and insane ones.
But my mom was not. She was savoring the wonderful moments and simply accepting the not-so-wonderful ones. At almost 75-years-old, she takes trips to local museums, churches and restaurants, travels the world with family and friends, takes her grandchildren on special days, volunteers in schools, remembers everyone’s birthdays (always), posts darling messages to all her great nieces and nephews on Facebook, cooks chicken soup or makes homemade beans when someone is sick, drops everything to help when I am in a crunch and makes everyone she talks to feel like they are her absolute favorite.
So while parenting can still be crazy, out of control and insane, I am now trying to be more like my mom. I am appreciating my messy house because time will pass and one day it won’t be messy. I am enjoying cooking for a house full of teenage friends because time will pass and one day I will be cooking for two. I am turning off my phone, sitting on the couch and talking with my kids because time will pass and one day my couch will be empty. In a blink of an eye it will be over. I can choose to check-out and fly through the day or check-in and appreciate the joyful moments hidden behind the chaos.
I can’t control time, but I can control how I choose to spend it. I will be forever grateful to my mom who taught this to me in four simple words, “This too shall pass.” And in the way she chooses to live her life everyday. Thanks mom. I love you.