The Most Precious Gift We Have Is The Accumulation Of Seconds With Our Children

By Ashley Patek

Mom and son

“Mommy, will you lay with me?”

The back of my son’s jammie shirt lay slightly spotted as it caught my silent tears.

His breath slowing as he found his patterned sleep. 

I nuzzled closer still. 

My affection consumed our space. 

Gratitude, thanking source that my son chose me for this most divine role. 

Overwhelm, for somehow my baby no longer fits in the cradle of my arms. 

Reflection, “Did I do enough today to let him know the measures of my immense love?”

And, I weep. 

In the snapshot of this moment, I know ...

The most precious gift we have is the accumulation of seconds with our children. 

It never seems to fail me how days elongate, sometimes redundant and slow, yet simultaneously gone in a heartbeat, leaving my heart to beat for more.

And despite knowing how intimate and precious these moments are, occasionally I find myself wishing them away. 

A prayer for a break to set aside my mom hat, if only a moment. 

An exhaust of imaginative play for hours on end.

An eagerness to cocoon in my own space, alone, untouched, unneeded.

But not tonight. 

Tonight I am present and fall witness to the miracle warm in my embrace.

The bubble we live in, in which my son is close, and safe. 

Protected by my love,

Equipped with his own. 

He lies here free of this world, for it has not yet jaded or conditioned him. 

His heart and mind illuminated with innocence, consciousness, curiosity. 

He is both student, and teacher. 

And I, his conduit to learning, his safe vessel, his home. 

For I am not foolish enough to ignore that one day there will be a last. 

A last time he asks to hold my hand as he drifts off in his dreams. 

A last time that I am his best contender on the playground. 

And a last time for morning snuggles, bedtime stories, and days of forts and superheroes. 

So don’t wish it all away. 

Slow down, mama. 

Let them teach you. 

Let them remind you, 

That the endless to-dos will always be, 

But that sweet child will one day grow, 

And you’ll miss these days that seem so slow,

For they are the tenderest treasures of life.


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