If you’ve ever had that moment where you look at your kids and tear up, thinking how are you so big now? Where did the time go? – you’re not alone.
We’ve all been there, and filmmaker Justin Baldoni is there right now.
In a beautifully raw post on Instagram, the father-of-two says he feels like he’s “grasping on” to what little baby is left in his son, Maxwell, who is just about to turn four.
“He’s so big now. So sweet and sensitive. So strong and smart. So damn kind. Where did the time go?” he asks.
They’re the baby days we never get back.
And with every milestone, whether it’s learning to sleep in their own room, starting school or celebrating another year of life – all moments which, in the grand scheme of things, re-affirm that they’re growing into the little humans they’re destined to be and that we’re actually doing alright as parents – there’s still an unshakeable, burning ache in the background. A swell in our hearts that longs to go back.
To do better. To be more present in their babyhood. To choose them, every time, over our phone calls and emails. But Justin is reminding us how important it is to feel all of it, not just the guilt:
“Sometimes when I look at him sleeping, I replay those times in my head when I missed the mark. I’ll hear those words ‘daddy play with me’ over and over again until I realise I’m just being a bully to myself. Just opening a wound that existed long before I became a father. Long before I even became a husband. So right now I’m letting myself feel all of it. And as I feel, I’m taking a breath and trying to remember all the times I DID play. All the times I did show up and do my best. Those are what he will remember more than anything.”
His words are a beautiful reminder that there’s a bigger picture here. That no, we can’t get back those baby days or change the things we so desperately wish we could’ve done better.
But there are infinite moments that fly before us, without a thought, where we very much are there for our kids.
“I’m doing my best. We’re doing our best,” he writes.
“Keep showing up parents. We are enough.”
You can read Justin’s full post below:
View this post on Instagram
(Feature Image Credit: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com)