This too shall pass -- it's what we say when someone needs words of encouragement. When we are not sure what else to say, but want to offer hope. When we've been there before, and made it through to the other side. When we are seasoned in life, and understand that life is ever changing -- that things will get easier.
As a new mother, this phrase both helps me, and scares me.
It helps me in the sense that when I am having a rough day (or a grueling week) I can remind myself that this is only temporary. Even though it feels like things will be this hard forever, I remind myself that it won't. Teething babies will have teeth break through; and pain will subside. Sick children will recover; restoring health, sleep patterns, happy temperaments, and glorious normalcy. The paralyzing fear of the trash truck, dishwasher, car horns, and all noises loud and scary will eventually lessen, and slowly fade away. Whining babies will find their words, and begin to use them efficiently. Those torturous sleepless nights will come to a close as your little one grows into toddlerhood right before your eyes. Days won't always be bone-crushingly tiring. Bedtime will become less of a battle. Avocado won't always be smeared on your shirt. This too shall pass.
And it scares me because time is always moving.
This phrase wraps me in comfort and reassures me that it won't always be this hard -- and then it takes my breath away as it reminds me that they won't always be this little, and they won't be my little babies forever. It reminds me to savor the moments -- the good with the bad; the rewarding and the challenging.
This too shall pass. Time is tricky like that. It can feel slow and quick all in the same moment. It can pass you by without warning -- the way my infants slipped through my fingers and slid into toddlerhood. The way the hours become days and the days become weeks. The way the seasons fade into each other. The way strangers come up to me with knowing eyes to say, "it goes so fast."
So when you're having one of those days (or one of those weeks), just remind yourself -- this too shall pass. Time will take the hard days and transform them into simpler ones. But be warned: you might then find yourself longing for the days that used to be.