you're gonna miss this

“Before she knows it she’s a brand new bride
In her one bedroom apartment
And her daddy stops by
He tells her it’s a nice place
She says, ‘It’ll do for now’
Starts talkin’ about babies, and buyin a house
Daddy shakes his head
And says baby just slow down    

Cuz’ you’re gonna’ miss this
You’re gonna’ want this back
You’re gonna’ wish these days
Hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna’ miss this

Five years later there’s a plumber
Workin’ on the water heater
Dog’s barkin’, phone’s ringin’
One kid’s cryin’ one kid’s screamin’
And she keeps apologizin’
But he says they don’t bother me
I’ve got two babies of my own

One’s thirty- six, one’s twenty- three
Heh, it’s hard to believe
But you’re gonna’ miss this”

              ~Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins, with that deep, strong, get right into your soul and light a fire voice was singing that song to me last night. He may not have known he was singing just to me, but he was. I thought, Oh, Trace. I hear you, buddy.

Time flies by in a blur.

I think about it every day.

I think about it when I see the subtle (and not so subtle) changes that make my babies look less and less like babies.

I think about it when I sit with my dad watching my girls run in the yard.

I think about it when he turns to me with tear filled eyes and says, “That was you, Jessie. FIVE MINUTES AGO. I swear it was five minutes ago.” And his voice trails off.

I think about it when I fold the outgrown clothes that hold so many memories into boxes, too small to fit their ever changing little bodies.

I think about it when we give away the last vestiges of babyhood – when we pass on the strollers and the changing tables and the bouncy swings that furnished our lives for such a short time.

I think about it when Katie tries on new expressions “Oh, my bad, Mama” to see how they fit.

I think about it when I hear my eighty-eight year old grandmother call her sixty-eight year old son – my father – her little boy.

I think about it when Katie asks me to hop on the plastic toboggan in her room before bed. “We’re going to Italy, Mama. We’ll have that funny coffee and those yummy pastries you told me about.”

I beat myself up thinking about it after I tell her I just don’t have the energy tonight.

I think about it when Brooke wraps her tiny little fingers around mine while we walk, even when every attempt I make at conversation fails.

I think about it at the end of every school year. And at the beginning of the next.

I think about it when I feel like I can’t take any more time away from work. And I think about it when I take it anyway.

I think about it when we plan a vacation that we can ill afford (not to take).

I think about it when Katie asks me over and over and over again when she can next come with me to my office.

I think about it when I hear about children who struggle for their very lives and I remember yet again how blessed I am.

I think about it when I read the newspaper – when I see horrifying stories from Iraq and Darfur and and and …

I think about it when my girls say grace. “Thank you for the food we are about to receive and the precious gift of each other.” Amen.

I think about it when I hear them laugh. The hearty care free laugh that replenishes my soul.

I think about it when I see them dance without the inhibition and self consciousness that comes with age.

I think about it when they sing. Those tiny voices perfectly in tune. Or not.

And just when I think I get it, that I really get it –  I turn on my computer and navigate my way through my glorious village of Mama Bloggers. I wander here and there, exploring the tapestry of my little corner of cyberspace. Like a dutiful tourist I pick up souvenirs from my trip – insight and knowledge and hope.

And the occasional b!tch slap.

The loving, generous, velvet gloved wake up call kind of b!tch slap that you would think could only come from someone really close to you. Someone who knows you so intimately that they can crawl right into your experience and tell you exactly what you need to hear.

But it comes from someone you’ve never met. Someone who, like a big sister, says, “Trust me. I’m farther along on this journey than you are. I know. Listen to me.”

And you do listen. You listen because her voice is clear and true and honest and her message is so urgent and pleading and you know you need to hear it NOW.

And you inhale her words and you take them to heart. Because she’s right. She is ever so completely, truly right.

You’re gonna’ miss this
You’re gonna’ want this back
You’re gonna’ wish these days
Hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna’ miss this

11 thoughts on “you're gonna miss this

  1. aww.. my eyes got misty when you wrote that your dad said that was you 5 minutes ago. i try to treasure time with my daughter because, the minutes are flying by in a blur of responsibilities and chores right now. it’s good to have reminders that we should take moments to pause and watch our kids..

  2. ok, I’ve read them all Jess, and I have laughed, cried and most importantly learned. But this one gets me to my heart!!! Thank you for the reminder to appreciate the here and the now. As my elderly neighbor said- “The days are long, the years are short”. I love your words!!!! Allright, got to go clean up the flood of tears and look at my children.

  3. You can’t imagine how this resonates with me; in this week or so of sudden death – of young lives cut short. Thank you for the reminder, dearest one.

    Just lovely.

  4. Time falls away in these small hours … These little wonders..

    Trace, Susan and you are right. How we will miss this!

    Focus, focus, focus. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Linked to you via Whitterer on Autism and couldn’t stop reading for many posts. You write beautifully and have helped me in my quest to keep the gratitude alive. I am going to get that song on my iPod immediately and play it every time I want to run away from home (probably later today.)

  6. Im reading this for the first time, and so many tears are running down my face, as I remember his words, how he used to tell me to take things slow, enjoy more and worry less, and cherish even those difficult times as a mom. It will be 10 yrs on July since he passed, and I still miss him like it was yesterday. I look back and think: Maybe I skipped a few steps when I had my first baby at 17, but then again, my dad got to meet all his grandchildren, enjoy them, and teach me those little lessons that at times keep me on the ground…

  7. my girls are so young, and i know this as we pass each milestone, yet i can’t seem to slow down time to really let the moments fully sink in. it really hit a nerve with me when you mentioned your grandmother. because my mother still calls me her baby, and my grandmother still calls my mom her baby. i am excited to see how they will grow but i don’t want to lose this time. thank you jess, you are a phenomenal writer…..

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