I don't know why thinking about Ava and Molly turning three felt so hard for me. The sadness came on suddenly one day and for a while, I couldn't shake it. I started spending time mourning how quickly the time had actually gone (which I felt was multiplied by two babies at once), looking at old photographs, going through their newborn things, and wishing I had been successful in slowing down time even a little bit. I went as far as feeling regret that maybe I didn't enjoy the past three years as much as I could have, and that if I had documented it better, all those moments that went too quickly would in some way still be here with me.
But as I spent more and more time focusing on the loss of the "little"ness and all the ways my girls had changed, I eventually started to realize something. Though their time as actual babies was gone, their little life in so many ways had only just begun. All the things that got lost along the way were replaced with greater things. The newborn cries turned into little "mamas" and "dadas", which in turn quickly became whispers in the dark, discussing our day and talking about love, family, and Jesus. The first wobbly steps disappeared into skips and runs, the outings in the stroller became dates of walking and holding hands, and the first crayon marks and scribbles turned into pictures of "Mommy- I drew a heart for you".
I was at a crossroads. I could spend my days trying to scoop up the sands of time, mourning what I missed in capturing or mourning how time flew by, or I could spend it building sandcastles and new memories with my two big, intelligent, sweet, full of joy inside and out, almost three year olds.
It's in the moments where we sing duets in the car, or I'm introduced as "my best friend, Mommy", or we bake or color or read together, that I realize that though life with actual babies may be over, the best is here and will continue to be the best, no matter how old my little girls get. That "life goes on" is reality and it's not a bad thing. Life moving forward means more time we have together. More stories read at bedtime, more cupcakes, more singing, more kisses. More walks, more giggles, more love, more memories.
Moving forward as a mom, I am choosing to focus on the "more" instead of the "was", being present and soaking today in, because today brings gifts of silliness and make believe, whispers and giggles, love and life, in the form of two almost three year old girls.