I always smile, give a little laugh, and say "Oh I know, thanks!" and go on my merry way. I know that these comments are always well meaning. It allows one to impart some wisdom on a young, unassuming person who is just starting their life as a parent. I also know that babies are automatic conversation starters, and I like that. Anywhere I go I will be asked the following questions/hear these comments: "Oh how old is she?", "Oh, is this your first?" "Oh, what a beautiful little girl!" etc. etc. But sometimes, the whole "Enjoy it now, it goes so fast" comments can really irritate me:
When I feel like I hear how fast my life is about to flash before my eyes almost everywhere I go, and from every chatty person I meet, it kind of gets depressing after awhile.
I don't really want strangers, friends, or even family members, to remind me day in and day out of the fact that before I know it, I'm going to wake up and Natalie's going to be a 15 year old throwing a teenage temper tantrum. Just let me enjoy this. Please.
I am well aware that time seems to go faster when you have children as opposed to when you ARE a child. Though I've only been at this for a year, in some ways the last year of my life seems like the longest of my life, and yet the shortest at the same time. My life "Pre-Natalie" feels like a lifetime ago. It feels like years ago when I was commuting to Manhattan every single day for work, reading books on the train, planning dinners with friends every Friday and Saturday. Now, when I do pop into my office, there are new employees, new doormen, new faces everywhere and it's weird. Oh - life does go on in the outside world while I'm at home...Huh.
I've wanted to write a post about this for awhile, but I came across Jess from Keeping Up with the Casey's post last week called: The Answer to Slowing Down Time,. This is what finally prompted me to write about this. She has the same feelings I do about this whole "time goes by so fast" sentiment, and I loved her takeaway:
"It's not about slowing down time at all, it's about acknowledging the present."
So often we look back on periods of time in our lives as truly great. That summer I lived in Little Italy, Manhattan for instance, was a summer I'll never forget. The 4 years I went to college, the 2 years I lived in Astoria. Those were moments in time that I have fond memories of and will always look back on with great joy. But so often, we don't realize how great they are until they're past. We don't realize until we're on the other side looking back saying "Wow...that was a great year" or "What a great period of time that was."
I know that I'm living a "great time" right now. I know that this time alone with Natalie, without the pressure of other kids, or school, or after-school activities taking up most of our time, these days with Natalie I can never get back. So if I blog less, if I disappear for a few days, if I fall off the grid for awhile. It's just because I am trying to soak up these days as much as I can.
And so what can we, the people who will one day soon, see a new mother or father with a little baby say to them that won't be so depressing? What do I wish I would hear more of from other people? How about:
"Congratulations! Believe me, it only gets better from here."