My hand rested on my belly.

I’d waited four years for Shawn to become baby-ready - and now I wasn’t sure I was ready. How could I possibly be responsible for the safety and well being of another human?

I’m the same person who not more than five years before that nodded when my Dad handed me an envelope containing my 2001 taxes.

“All you have to do is drive this to the mailbox and drop it in. It’s ready to go.”

I drove around with those things for three months until Dad found them in the glove box and made me go with him to put them in the mail.  

And now as God was handing me a life and asking me to raise it, I felt completely unequipped to handle the job. Nevertheless, the position was mine, and I became his mom.

An unsure and unsteady one, but that’s all part of the process that I see now. It’s a learning experience for us all, and no matter how inadequate I felt, they keep growing as we move onto new things.

Still, I somehow thought they would stay little forever.

Hearing him speak words seemed a distant dream as he babbled on the floor during tummy time (he’s now 12 and still babbles - but it’s about Fortnite). Watching him step up to bat in the little league seemed far away as he attempted to pull up on the coffee table (and usually smacked his head).

School days seemed centuries away until I dropped him off for his first day of kindergarten.  Now they are entering 7th and 4th grade.

That’s why I am convinced that parenting has its own time zone - and it is completely whack. Because the same days that somehow flew by seemed to drag on forever while in them.

That clock refused to move while sitting in front Dora the Explorer, or even worse, Bananas in Pyjamas. And if you’ve never watched this show and somehow get roped into it  - I beg you, for the love of your sanity, GET OUT OF THERE.

You will lose your ever lovin’ mind in twenty-five minute increments - I promise.

Although my sanity came up missing long ago. We suspect it was thrown out in Alabama when Logan discovered the automatic window button and tossed out his sippy cup, transformer, and the entire contents of his diaper bag.

He shouted with joy as it all blew down the Alabama freeway, and then screamed in the backseat for two hours while we searched for a Walmart in Birmingham, because he wanted (you guessed it) his sippy cup, transformer, and a fresh diaper.

You know how it goes, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.

That’s how it is here in the parenting vortex.

One moment you’re in the laundry room holding up Fire Engine footie pajamas, and the next moment you’re holding up a pair of boxers trying to decide if they belong to him or his dad.   

Truth is, we all knew parenting is somewhat of a temporary gig. Of course we will always be their parents, but daily life will slow as they move on.

That’s just how society moves - we take our turn raising the next generation and then hope we were nice enough that they don’t slip sedatives into our orange juice when we are old.

My kids aren’t fully grown by any means, but I’m reminded daily that years are fleeting (because Timehop). I hold tight as those precious moments float by, because I know one day these two boys will be out of my grasp.

But not today.

Today Logan crawled into my bed because he missed me - his arms wrapped around me extra tight when the thunder got too loud. Today Connor walked to center stage for his band performance - and his eyes searched the crowd until they rested on me.  

Watching them grow, I now realize my fears of blowing the whole thing were unwarranted (most days, at least). Because they are completely loved and that love will be beneath their wings as they one day fly.

Then again, I’ve never had to mail them anywhere. I guess that could be why things are running smoother than expected.