It's So Hard to Remember

O: For my next birthday, I want tools, house-building tools.

K: Okay. Why?

O: Because I want to build my own house and move-out. Don't worry. It'll be close by. 

It is so hard to remember, when you are trying to finish a simple task made complicated by the squirming toddler on your lap, that someday they won't want to hug you in front of their friends.

It is so hard to remember, when they awaken every morning at 5:00am, that you will someday be dragging them out of bed.

It is so hard to remember, when every toy, book and art supply is strewn across the floor, the dishes are stacked inches from the ceiling, and no one has clean underwear, that someday this house will be empty, that even the junk drawer will be organized.

It is so hard to remember, when they cry at preschool drop-off, that someday soon, you will be the one crying as you leave them, be it the first day of elementary school or in their dorm room, or more likely, both.

It is so hard to remember, when you are frustrated and tired and impatient, that these moments are a gift, the things you will look back on with warmth, love, and longing, when things really get tough, when the stakes are so much higher.


And yet, it is impossible to forget, when you are rocking them to sleep, their heavy, sweaty bodies slack in your arms, their breath sweet and even, that they are only little for a second, that they are only ours for such a short time. Soon enough, we give them over, to kindergarden, to best friends, to sleep-overs, to summer camp, to college, to lovers, to the world. They are ours, in our hearts, forever, yet they are truly ours for only a moment.

Why is that so hard to remember?