My “Aha” Parenting Moment

I’m not often hit with life-altering realizations on a regular basis, those “Aha moments” that everyone speaks about as a precursor to change, right before they move to Nicaragua or shave their head or perhaps taste tofu for the first time.

But yesterday, I had one…

It came from nowhere. Bee and I had spread a blanket in the backyard, soaking in the spoils of a long-awaited winter thaw where the temperature had finally – finally – ticked above 70 degrees.

We were celebrating on the grass, sunglasses in hand, snacks at the ready, dogs underfoot. We lifted our heads to the sun and let the fresh blades tickle our feet, then paused to color our cheeks with dandelions.

And this reminder flew over me, like a stork dropping a 10 lb baby weight on my chest: these are the days.


Just as I’ve looked back fondly on my own childhood – donning my yellow rubber boots in the middle of a rainstorm, soaking in long and winding novels with a flashlight under the covers, the delight of a cold, dripping ice cream on a summer day – so, too, will I look back on these days.

They’re hard, but simple. They’re maddening, but uncomplicated.

It’s “Mama, hold my hand,” and “No, I don’t want raisins,” and “Yes, leave me alone,” and “Mommy, sit on counter?” It’s pushing and pulling and trying and failing, but these days, our babies are still tucked sweetly under our wings.

It can be uncomfortable here – for everyone – but some day our wings will grow too small and our baby birds too big. And we’ll view them from a million miles away, watching and waiting and wondering if they’ll return home with a few piercings on the back of a bad bird’s motorcycle.

Until then, we have now. We have today. We have these moments, dusted with cereal remnants and adhered with sticky banana fingers. But today’s smudges – the tantrums and the chasing and the sleepless nights – are but yesterday’s memories.

Aha indeed.

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