Remember back when the kids were little (I’m talking babies and toddlers) when sometimes all you wanted to do was fast forward time and make them bigger? For me, those baby and toddler years were the hardest. The crying, the endless whining, the constant need for them to want to be right on top of you all the time. Don’t get me wrong…those years were wonderful, too. The firsts – first steps, smiles, words, adventures. The laughter, the love. Some of my favorite memories are the middle-of-the-night breast feedings. So quiet and peaceful; just staring at each other.
As the saying goes: The days are long but the years are short. And it’s so true. Those babies grow up, and they do it quickly. Sure when you’re in the weeds of early motherhood and still learning the ropes, it seems like time just drags on. And then one day you look back, and your babies are little people. Little people like Ethan who is 7 and asking for a phone for Christmas (not happening.) And like Lila who is one of the strongest and most stubborn people that I know. And Mia who – at 5 – told me yesterday that something was “totes cray cray.”
Ethan who no longer wants to kiss me goodbye when I drop him off for school. And when we are out in public, gets so mad at me when I make him use the women’s restroom instead of letting him go into the men’s restroom alone.
Lila who wants me to drop her off “in the circle” instead of walking her up to the gate for kindergarten. She can do everything by herself; “I don’t need help.”
Mia who wants “real” makeup for Christmas and wants to be able to read a book all by herself.
You wake up one day and the babies are all gone. And that’s kind of sad.
Last week, I was working away on the computer and the girls asked if they could get themselves ready for school. I was only half listening to the request, and said yes thinking they were just going to get dressed. Not only did they get themselves dressed, they also brushed their teeth and helped do each other’s hair. And their hair looked really good! And the clothes all matched! I was super impressed and even proud.
I realized that these little people we are raising are growing up. Soon there will be closed bedroom doors and secrets. Private phone calls with their friends about girls and boys. They will want to shop for their own clothes and shoo me out of the bathroom so they can get ready for school. Or a night with friends. Or a date. I will not be the center of their universe, in fact, they probably won’t like me and will think that Jason and I “don’t get it” and that we “don’t know anything.”
Those days are coming. And before they do, I wish they I could just freeze time right now. I really love their ages. They are independent enough to tell them to go find something to do on their own, but they are still young enough to want snuggles and love and their mommy.
Watching the kids grow up is pretty frickin’ cool. It’s hard and it’s a lot of work, but it’s also amazing and special and something that I am so glad that I’m getting to experience.
But I’m still not looking forward to those teenage years!