Wisdom is something I’m only now starting to realize, if I’m lucky, midway or so through this journey. The wisdom I’ve gained has been in many different realms, most notably relationships. And, despite how I would’ve liked to have had some of that 20 years ago, the most valuable I’ve gleaned has to do with time. You see, my entire life I have been waiting for the passage of time. Every mark, every goal, every dream, every desire meant waiting for time to pass. And, up until about eight years ago, that passage seemed excruciatingly slow. Whether waiting to start high school, get my license, graduate, go to college, graduate from college, start my career, it all took waiting patiently to pass through the hoops of time.

Then, for reasons which will always be inexplicable to me, about eight years ago God gave me the greatest gift any woman could ever desire – a child. And, from the moment she came out of me, time became something to hold onto, cling to, all the while searching desperately for nonexistent brakes.  If I think back, I believe this changing in the sense of time happened the moment I laid eyes on her – the moment that only another mom can understand – when you’re looking at a miracle that’s just come out of you.  Holding your child for the first time is like finally holding time in your hands. From then on time unravels moment-by-moment in that little being, as we bear witness. The fortunate mothers are mature enough to treasure every moment of that passage of time.

Because of this gift, the past eight years have been the richest I have ever known. I have never lived in the present as much in my life. I have never been a part of so many moments that have made me smile, laugh, cry, and want to etch forever in my mind.  Sure, there are times I have wanted to scream, pull my hair out, give up, yell at someone, but those were part of everyday life before kids.  I have never known before kids the power I have as a human being to love, comfort, and care for another.  

As a parent, I have magical powers I never knew I had. I can make a bad day good, make the boogie man go away, cure a sick tummy, or offer a comforting hug. I’m the one to go to when something’s broken, who can teach you how to ride a bike, throw a football, or ice skate. My kids taught me how to use my undiscovered magic in ways only they can. One of my favorite powers is my ability to make everything safe again. I love it when one of my babies climbs in bed with me, scared, and after being securely wrapped in my arms, is peacefully sound asleep in a matter of minutes.  My bed even has a magic smell that sometimes makes my kids ask me to lend them one of my pillows.

Had I known what a gift they are and the richness they would add to my life, I would’ve had them a lot earlier, but then I wouldn’t have had my Aleutia and Elias. So, I no longer waste the time I have looking back. Instead, I practice each day to live in the moment. To savor each laugh, each smile, each tear, knowing that once it passes it cannot be recaptured. I try not to even envision the future or what it might look like because what is the future really? It’s a dream, that’s all – it’s a hope, it’s a desire, nothing more. It’s not real. All that is real is right in front of us every day. It’s those who grace our lives – that’s all that’s real. And, whether they’re young, old, two-legged, or four-legged, I encourage you to relish your shared moments. Those are the real gift I’ve discovered. Those are what this ride is all about. That is the one true bit of wisdom I can hold onto, feel its heft, and know with certainty it is real.