If I Knew Then

If I knew then, I would have slowed down a bit more.

I would have marveled and soaked the moment in as the morning light cascaded through the window, shining ever so brightly on your first ballet outfit.

You squealed with delight as you placed the soft slippers on your feet.

You twirled and leaped and giggled and even cried tears of joy.

If I knew then, I would have slowed down a bit more.

I would have listened more to your soft voice, echoing a cheerful tune, as I loaded you into the car to run another errand. Rather than rushing, the quick in and out of the car and continuously fretting we would be late, I would have simply listened.

Listened to your sweet voice mispronouncing words as your tongue slowly creeped its way through the space where your front teeth once were.

I would have listened more closely to your silly stories from the backseat rather than zoning out while driving after only a few hours of sleep.

I would have listened, but some days it was hard to always be present.

If I knew then, I would have slowed down a bit more.

I would have left out the toys, rather than feeling a need to clean up.

I would have snuggled a few more minutes before bed time because now I know those extra minutes only meant one thing… more time with you.

I would have softened my ways to make sure comfort always came first.

I would have hugged you more even those moments you pushed me away.

I would have you sit on my lap over and over again, knowing one day it would end.

I would have kept you firmly planted on my hip, walking down the street, never knowing what day would be the last before you wouldn’t want to walk side by side.

I would have held your clammy hand for hours upon hours rather than rushing off to clean the house. The house could wait.

If I knew then, I would have slowed down a bit more.

So today, I vow to you, sweet child, to slow down, breathe it all in and enjoy each precious moment I am blessed to have with you.

If I knew then, I would have slowed down a bit more.

 

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This piece originally appeared at Hang in There Mama by Ali Flynn, published with permission.


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Ali Flynn
Ali Flynn Ali lives in New York with her four teenage daughters and husband. She is excited to share with you the joys and hardships of motherhood with an open heart, laughter and some tears. You can find her at Hang in There Mama, where she keeps motherhood real.