The Fast Forward Years

I feel like we’ve officially entered that phase of parenthood that all those well-meaning checkout line commenters have been warming about for the past 8 years or so. It did not, up to this point, “go so fast,” but I’m officially ready to punch that time-clock because yesterday I started to write a date that was at least a week in the rearview, and was genuinely shocked that an additional 7 days of life have transpired since I last looked up.

It’s the end of September. My oldest baby will reach the age of reason on Saturday (and, shockingly, has begun to act sort of … reasonable at times. Makes me clutch my chest in shock and awe).

I just clicked over to Baby Center to look at how big Cinque Bing is at 24 weeks only to find that we’re actually at 26 weeks, which is fairly reassuring since I’m starting to make third-trimesteresque huffs and puffs when I get up off the floor and was getting a little concerned for my stamina.

Now that I know I’m a fortnight out from the dawn of the final countdown, the aggressive and sudden pop of the belly and the insatiable appetite make more sense.

I got my first “any day now!” comment from a friendly barista the other week, to which I smiled vaguely and replied with a sing-songy “not as soon as you might think.” The end of pregnancy is when my 10-inch torso really shines, making strangers and friends alike very, very nervous in workout settings and in crowded public spaces. Why look 9 months pregnant for only a month when you can startle passers-by for an entire trimester? I’m sure that’s what God was thinking when He selected “walking, ticking time bomb of gestation” as my pregnancy model.

Our house is coming together too, more slowly than it might have in the past, but also more carefully and with greater attention to detail. I finished chalk painting my kitchen cabinets last night at about 9 pm (future post forthcoming) and, stepping back to admire my handiwork after I’d hung the last door, I mentally calculated that the entire project had taken some 40-odd hours from prep to finish. Yesterday at around noon, when things were looking grim indeed after a sudden and surprising suburban sandstorm swept along the freshly-lacquered door faces, I was lamenting to a friend that I was actually going to die with this paintbrush in my hand. But fast forward a couple hours and a lot of sweat and choice language later, and the thing was done.

It already feels like we’ve lived in this house forever. The past year of multiple moves and endless showings is fading into the hazy, unreliable annuls of “oh, that’s wasn’t so bad” memory, and I can already picture the bedrooms which are currently kitted out with cribs and bunkbeds strewn with stinky sports jerseys and curling irons.

Even the long days of mothering lots of little people are easing up. I hardly ever have that stiffling feeling of 4 o’clock doom these days, because by the time I look at the clock after school, Dave is only 15 minutes away and I haven’t actually started dinner yet.

It’s getting blurrier. The edges are getting softer and rounder, kind of like me.

Stuff that seemed make-it-or-break-it 6 years ago barely registers as a blip on the radar now. I have less time to fret about vaccine schedules and whether or not milestones are being met, because I’m kind of treading water keeping everyone in clean socks and lunches. The moments that I stop and play a quick game of pickup soccer in the backyard with the first grader or pull the giant baby into my lap for a little quality time with Sandra Boynton are unscripted and unrecorded and, as such, far more enjoyable.

Jenny Uebbing
Jenny Uebbing is a freelance writer and editor and a blogger for Catholic News Agency. Her popular blog “Mama Needs Coffee” covers everything from current events and politics to the Catholic Church’s teachings on sex and marriage to life with an army of toddlers. She has created content for Endow, FOCUS, EWTN, the USCCB, Catholic Exchange, and Our Sunday Visitor press. In her free time she watches HGTV on the treadmill and drinks La Croix by the case. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Related Posts


Recent Stories