I'm kind of like that though. I love the present and I love the past. I hold onto moments in life very closely, sometimes too closely, and while I'll be the most spontaneous person you could ever meet when I'm chasing a precious moment, I tend to be very afraid of change. I think it's easy to be afraid of the unknown when the known you have is just so precious.
I was never, ever the kid who said, "I can't wait to grow up!" Why would you want to grow up when playing with dolls and having sleepovers and listening to your mom read bedtime stories is so fun? But grow up I did and soon I was in high school and driving a truck and applying to colleges. And it was awesome. When I graduated high school, and I've talked about this before, I was so afraid to go onto college because, honestly, what could beat high school? Except then I went to college and it blew high school out of the water.
For the entire month leading up to college graduation I walked around with a sinking feeling in my stomach. I did not want to leave that precious place. I didn't want to leave friends. I didn't want the real world or a job or anything of that grown-up stuff. Sure, I had dreams and plans and even a boy I wanted to marry, but oh, college was so good. And everyone always says that college is best time of your life. Someone gave me a silly graduation card that said, "Congrats, have fun spending your money on toilet paper!" and I laughed and cringed at the same time.
But time moves on and you're not allowed to stay in college housing if you're not in college so I moved into a house, a dear house, a house we called the Ashley House after the street it was on and eventually it was also nicknamed the Booty House (long story) and I lived there with half a dozen girls and it was glorious. Working wasn't nearly so bad as they all said; when the day was done you got a paycheck and didn't have to worry about writing papers. Then that boy asked me to marry him and I was beyond thrilled but here it was coming again...change. Couldn't we get married and just keep living at the Ashley House with all my girls?
But no, that's not socially acceptable, so we moved into a little apartment and I got to set it all up exactly the way I wanted it and keep it totally clean and have whatever we wanted on the TV and wow, it was pretty good. Really good. I was playing house for real and I had my boy and we got cats and life was sweet and when the time came to move I didn't understand why he wasn't crying in the middle of the empty living room like me.
Then we found out we were becoming parents and actually? For the first time I wasn't afraid of change. I wanted the change so badly. I wanted snuggles and sweet little baby sounds and being parents together. I knew it was going to be good and I was excited.
I had no idea- none whatsoever- how incredibly good it would be.
Everyone will tell you hard parenthood is. How you'll never sleep again and how your life and your time and even your very body is never your own again, but you don't realize that what they mean is that stuff this good requires sacrifice and that very sacrifice becomes so automatic that it isn't even like a sacrifice anymore. It's just love and it's hard and it's good- so, so good- because it's hard.
We wanted to do it, this parent thing, this new-baby thing, all over again and here we finally are and I'm sitting on the edge of another change. I honestly thought excitement for this change would come as easily as the last one; after all, this was a change I asked for, hoped for, wanted for with all my heart. But the truth is, it's not coming easily. I'm afraid, afraid of the exhaustion and being enough for two babies and a husband. I'm afraid of the new-big-sibling tantrums and sharing my heart and hands with two. I'm afraid of the change. It feels like the end of an era for me and my sweet, sweet girl, the girl who made me a mama, the girl who brought out a depth of love I didn't know existed. The girl of tea parties and tutus and the favorite color pink and the long, quiet afternoons of reading and cuddling and often napping together. The girl of new adventures and shining eyes and experiencing life through the wonder of a child. It's been the sweetest three years of my life, years dear and precious to my heart, and I just don't know how it could ever possibly get any better than this.
Yet every time I've thought that, thought it couldn't get any better, it has. So I'm waiting with an expectant, albeit anxious, heart to see what sweetness lies next, while cherishing every moment left of just us three. It feels like I've spent hours the past couple weeks just staring, staring at my girl like a museum piece on a shelf, a little blue-eyed giggling relic of goodness and memories who is growing up way too fast and who is a constant reminder of all the sweetness past and is still to come.
We are about to be four. Some days will be hard. I know it will be hard, but I know it will be good and better than I can ever ask or imagine. And I think we're ready.