How Do You Hold On To The Moments?

How Do You Hold On To The Moments? | Through Clouded Glass

I had an afternoon with half the kids the other day.

Maybe I should back up a bit.  Life has been busy but good.  I am slowly figuring out this four kid thing, but I'm not going to lie, our house is rarely peaceful these days!  Derek took the boys with him to process his deer last weekend (we really only eat wild game, and it saves us a ton of money in beef costs), and I was left with only Gwen and Clarice.

I forgot how quiet the house is when there are half the kids around.  On the one hand, it was nice to have a relatively peaceful afternoon.  On the other hand, I almost cried kissing those sweet little boy faces goodbye, even if it was only for a few hours.

Clarice napped most of the afternoon, and Gwen and I had a nice time together, coloring pictures and singing songs (and maybe eating some ice cream, but you didn't hear that from me).  I'm glad we had a girl's day.  The boys came back and ran around, telling me stories (Wyatt), and blowing me kisses (Clyde).  I got Clarice dressed for bed, and she gave me the sweetest bright-eyed, dimpled smiles.

It's chaotic around here with four kids, but I wouldn't trade any moment, and I think I needed a little quiet to remember that.

During my afternoon of quiet, I was fiddling around on WordSwag on my phone, and I realized that you can choose to have the app fill in a quote for you.  So I shuffled through the available quotes, and this one popped up on the screen.

"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."

You know who said that?  Dr. Suess.  Apparently he didn't just rhyme and draw mythical creatures (or is that quote in one of the rhyming books?).

How Do You Hold On To The Moments? | Through Clouded Glass

I'm in this weird place right now, between being achingly aware of the value of each moment that is slipping through my fingers, and also feeling like I'm not valuing the moments as well as I should.  Clarice outgrew her first newborn outfit the other day.  Wasn't she just born a few days ago?  She outgrew it.  My (probably) last baby outgrew an outfit, and never again (probably) will another baby of mine wear those clothes.

(Yes, I said probably.  Twice.  That is another story for another day.)

It's just all going too fast for me.  It's too fast.  I'm not ready for the moments to pass even as they are whizzing by me.

Time either needs to slow down, or I need to take a minute to focus in on those moments instead of letting them fade into the ever-marching blur.

But writing it out like this?  That helps.  It helps me focus on the moments.  Writing has always helped me process and reflect, and in the midst of this blurry, busy season, I need to go back to that.

Sometimes as moms, we need a way to document the passage of time.  Some might write, some might take pictures, some may scrapbook.  Capturing those moments and emotions in some way - it's important.  It's acknowledging the value of the moment, and it's a reminder to us that the now (even the messy, pungent, noisy, imposing now) will someday be a memory.

For me, writing and photos help me tangibly grab on to those moments, grab a bit of their essence and preserve it, so I feel less anxious and obsessive about the fact that they are streaming by (yes, I am obsessing right now - it's hard not to obsess about the rapid passage of time when you have a newborn that seems to look different every single day).  And I am reminded to use these present moments well, because even though I can't get them back, what I do with them ripples into eternity.

So maybe this will be a more regular occurrence on this blog, these word dumps, these capturing of emotions and moments.  I don't know.  But today I needed this.  Thank you all for humoring me.

Because it is all just going too fast.

How do you hang on to those moments long enough to let them soak in before they are gone forever?

(That question sounds terribly melodramatic, but I am in a terribly melodramatic mood as of late.)
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Jennifer Clem said...

I don't know the answer to your question. I catch myself so often wishing the day away. Wishing it was bedtime so I could have a moment of peace and actually think without hearing a baby grunt at me while two boys yell "momma" over and over. Then when that moment of peace and quite arrives, I am overwhelmed with guilt that I didn't have more quality moments with my kids that day. Such a hard balance! Knowing that there is no "Probably" for me and that my baby is most definitely my last doesn't make it any easier. (wiping tears)

Elizabeth said...

I think the irony is that in spending time PRESERVING the moments, you may miss some. On the flipside, when you are most present, you are laying a great foundation, but you might forget to take notes or photos. From your blog it seems like you have a great balance of crafting and active family fun. One thing I heard mentioned is to make sure you get all family members in photos, especially you with your kids, so they can see that later. Personally, my son is almost 3.5 YEARS and I'm still working on our wedding photos and his baby scrapbook. I have it all saved but rarely find the time to do the projects I have planned in my mind...BUT it's not for lack of trying. It just means I've spent the day with him in my lap rather than at a craft table sorting through photos of him. I've enjoyed Instagram lately because I just capture little moments throughout the day with captions. We still have never had a single professional family photo session. I don't know if I really answered your question!

Gina Davis said...

So impressed with how you still keep up with blogging and having 4 kids, its amazing. I loved this post, thanks for the encouragement.

Callie Nicole said...

I feel like I am just barely keeping up! The only time I have right now is the time Derek gives me. Usually my blogging time is nap time, but I can hardly bear to put Clarice down to work on things, haha!

Callie Nicole said...

That is very true! I have to fight that temptation to over-document too. It's good just to put the camera away and enjoy the present. Have you heard of Chatbooks? It's an app that automatically ends you prints of your Instagram photos! i love it, because I don't have to think about getting them printed, it just shows up in the mail when a book gets filled up! (I don't know if they ship internationally though. :-/ )

Callie Nicole said...

I can so relate to that! I feel like almost every day I get to the end and feel like I didn't make good enough use of my time with the kids. :-/ It's so hard when you are in the middle of a stressful moment (or season).

Elizabeth said...

I hadn't heard of that, but I'm wondering if my phone would actually produce good quality photos. Maybe at least the thumbnails would be cute.

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