When I was 18 I found out I was pregnant and two months before I turned 19 years old my daughter Fredrica was born. It wasn’t always easy being a young mother, but we had lots of love and a stable home. Over the years we welcomed her siblings. She became a big sister for the first time at 7, we then had another baby when she was 12 and now, we have our precious last baby boy Henry and there’s a whopping 20 years of age difference between them. It is a weird feeling to know that the age gap between her and me is two years less than between her and her youngest brother. Sometimes life throws you a surprise curveball.
Our children have been born with so many years in between them that we’ve managed to have small kids to take care of for over twenty years now. I can barely remember what it felt like to not be a mother.

When the kids are in that diaper changing age It’s hard to imagine how life will change over the years when you’re in that rut of sleepless nights, poopy diapers, food all over their clothes and hair, and that faze when you need to be constantly watching them just to keep them alive (Henry is 16 months and determined to do every life threatening climbing activity he can find). Time seems to pass both slow and fast. Slow when you’re just waiting for them to fall asleep so that you can get a break, and fast because, wait.. didn’t he just pop out of my belly all new and slippery and gaze at me for the first time, and then suddenly in between all those hours of care, in what seems like the blink of an eye they are 16 months. After that the years just keep adding on and you find yourself holding on to your child just a few more extra seconds during those precious moments when you get to see them. My daughter is her own person now, living on the other side of the world, has her own home, her own income and her own life. And almost 22 years have passed since we first met. Life goes by so fast.

I miss her every day. But most of all I am thankful for all those years we got to spend together, and for every second that I now get to spend with her, which is a couple of weeks every 6 months or so.

Thats why this photo is so very precious to me. My oldest and my youngest playing together at the beach. This was taken two weeks ago when she was here visiting. I’m going to put it in a big frame and hang it on the living room wall, so that I can see this moment every time I walk by. I want to be reminded every day, of how lucky I am to have been blessed with four amazing children, and that I have had the privilege to be their mother for so many years, and hopefully many, many more to come.

Siblings at the beach

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Cherrie Eklund
March 10, 2016
What a lovely reflective dedication to your kids.