I did something today that I haven't done in a very long time. I had the blessing of watching our Pastor's one year old daughter for a couple of hours.
At first, I did my best to entertain her with toys that made noise or reading her a book about farm animals. She was leery of me and wasn't much interested in engaging in either activity. I racked my brain to remember what I used to do when my kids were this age. How did I entertain them? How did I spend my days? I mean, if the child isn't taking a nap, they're in need of your undivided attention. How did I make it through those days?
Then I caught wind of a familiar odor. It was diaper changing time. I wasn't really nervous but heck, it's been y.e.a.r.s since I've changed a diaper. As I laid her down and unsnapped the multitude of snaps on her clothing, it all came back to me... taking clothing off, putting clothing back on, the varying degrees of a diaper load, and making sure you've done a good job of cleaning the entire area. This little girl needed to be entertained while all this was taking place and I reflected on happy memories of singing, playing, and laughing when my kids were on the changing table.
It then became obvious that she needed and wanted to take a nap. Her dad told me that she probably wouldn't go down in her crib and that I would most likely have to hold her. Even though she wanted sleep, she fought it. I had to walk with her, holding her tight and singing lightly in her ear. The crying stopped and her body finally succumbed to the inevitable. Not knowing how deep she slept, I walked and rocked for some time. I then lowered myself to the couch and spent the next hour reclining with a precious little one sleeping on my chest.
I spent the time watching the snow fall outside and listening to the classical music that was playing. Not a bad way to spend an hour of my day. I prayed (it seemed like the perfect time to do that), but most of the time I reflected on when my kids were young; when they were infants, when they were toddlers, when they started school, when they started sports, when they went into middle school and then high school. There are so many memories, but there are also great gaps of lost memories. Oh, how I wish I had recorded more than I did - either on film, video, or through words. I want all those memories at my finger tips. I want to be able to pull them down whenever I want - whenever I need to feel close to my kids.
As little Jorah slept contently and I could feel her breath and the rise and fall of her chest, I wanted to go back into time and hold Danielle or Jake. I would have held them so tight and would have never wanted to let go. I now know how fast time can fly and how fleeting memories can be.