Turn Around

Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you're two,
Turn around and you're four,
Turn around and you're a young girl going out of my door.
Turn around, turn around,
Turn around and you're a young girl going out of my door.

- Malvina Reynolds

August 14, 2014

I just took my oldest to first grade.

People always talk about how fast time goes, but I think our whole issue with time is more about its inevitability and its permanence.

Anyone who knows me well has heard that I don’t do babies. Claire was my first, and it felt like the weight of the world had settled on my shoulders. I loved her and thought she was the cutest thing in the world, but it was suffocating. It was the biggest adjustment of my life. And I didn’t like it when people told me to “enjoy every moment, it goes so fast.” Because most of the time, I was drowning.

Against my will, I understand what they meant now. And if I could go back and give myself advice about being a mother of young children, I would tell myself, pay attention. Take note. You don’t have to be deliriously happy all the time. You don’t even have to be happy all the time. But you do need to notice her, her chubby hands, her laugh, the silly things she says. Kiss her head and her cheeks, even when you don’t feel like it. Just so you can say that you did. You need to try for the moments. Because that’s where the joy is. It’s not in the weeks, or the days, not even the hours. You have to snatch those sweet moments wherever you can get them, because they are usually hidden in cracks between the tears and the struggle.

That’s what I would tell myself.

One of the best things I’ve ever read about motherhood is a blog post titled “To the Mother With Only One Child.” This is the part that sings of truth, that I could never have known for myself until I had experienced the inevitable passage of time: 

"When I had only one child, she was so heavy.  Now I can see that children are as light as air.  They float past you, nudging against you like balloons as they ascend."

Claire is ascending. I am excited and scared for her. I am worried about her.

I miss her.


  1. I really did just finish the book (yesterday) called "All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenting" and it made me realize how much I love being a mother - even when I don't love it. And at the same time - how hard it actually is. Your post is so so so so sweet. And I don't really do babies either.

    1. I would say motherhood is by far the hardest thing I've ever done. I need to read that book.


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