If there’s a three-word phrase I’ve heard as much as “Just you wait…” as a new parent it would be “Enjoy it because....”. Both phrases are meant to inspire me to appreciate what I have in the here and now. But, they both make my skin crawl. As if parenting wasn’t challenging enough, people have to constantly remind me of how much harder it’s going to get. Or that there is something worth dreading on the journey ahead.
When Paul and I were expecting our little girl, people would often remind us of all the changes to come. Just you wait for the sleepless nights. Enjoy your time as a couple now because it’ll be a long time before you have that again. Yada yada yada.
My response? Yeah, we’re looking forward to the changes, thanks! This often stopped people in their tracks. No need to avoid the inevitable; I’m not so naive as that. Of course having a baby would change things, and as I’ve mentioned before, this was one of the primary reasons why Paul and I wanted to start a family. What could be more adventurous than that?!
Maya is now eight months old and those infamous three-word phrases keep creeping back into my daily interactions. Total strangers see me walking with my daughter by the river and, though of course well-intentioned, feel obliged to give me a message from the future. Enjoy it because the next thing you know she’ll be graduating from university! Enjoy this stage because once she’s walking your life is over! Seriously.
Why can’t I simply enjoy without the “because…”? Yes, every moment is fleeting. While the days are so long (and sometimes super hard!), the sum of them passes by very quickly. Yes, someday my little girl will be hiking next to me on the trail. I’m sure that will be a welcome relief, but it will also bring its own challenges. I’ll also probably look back with fondness on all the kilometres I clocked with my little baby strapped to my chest or bopping along in the backpack.
The point is, things are always changing. My goal is to eliminate these two phrases from my vocabulary. They kill my adventurous spirit. I don’t want to waste my time thinking about how much harder things will get, how insane my husband and I are to be planning a two-month trip abroad, or about the day when I become an empty-nester. My style is to jump in head-first, figure out the logistics as I go, do my best to make things go smoothly, and simply ENJOY.
Yes, time flies. All the more reason to live in the moment and embrace the adventure.
(You’ve got my permission to remind me of this post if you ever hear me utter these two phrases.) 🙂