OK not so much a time machine as a time speeder upper. Having children seems to turn your life clock into a ceiling fan. Yet simultaneously, time creeps at a snail’s pace.
Waiting 9 (10) months, forever. Labor, forever. Midnight to 5 A.M. with a colicky baby – an eternity. I didn’t notice this as much when my oldest child was little. I didn’t have a twinge of sadness at every milestone; it was exciting, maybe because I was a new parent, maybe because I assumed she wouldn’t be my last. My middle child is almost 5 – older than my daughter was when he was born. Where did all this time go? My daughter is 9 – halfway to 18 as my husband pointed out.
I’m hyper aware how short the time is that my children will be children. Even though my youngest is only 2, I feel like I’ll blink and he’ll be an adult. I just registered my middle for Kindergarten. It seems like yesterday he was a baby sitting at my feet while I registered his sister. Now she’s in 3rd grade. Looking back at her baby pictures taken from a film camera (or terrible quality digital) it seems like a lifetime ago.
My husband and I met in 1998 when I was 17 years old. At the end of this year, we will have been together 16 years. We talk about things that happen in the 90’s and think oh yeah that was 10…no 20 years ago. My Dad says oh just wait until you say oh that was 20, no…30, no…40 years ago!
Everyone tells you to savor the moments because they will be over too soon, but that’s tough since as the saying goes “the days are long but the years are short.” Now & again I’ll have a picture perfect moment where the sun is shining and we’re running around playing hide & seek in the back yard. I have one of those “wow” moments where I feel so grateful to be alive and just want to capture this moment. Of course, a millisecond later the thought is interrupted by screeches of “HE’S LOOKING AT ME!” Ha ha.
I’ve had times where I have quite literally panicked at the idea that my kids are growing up way too fast and I’m not enjoying it enough and it’s going to be over soon. I have to calm myself down by realizing that though it feels that way, it isn’t over in a flash. It happens gradually and we have plenty more time left with them.
Sometimes I feel like I’m wishing my children’s lives away when I’m calculating the months until my youngest will be in school, or everyone sleeps through the night. Since we won’t be having any more babies, I am very aware that every time I rock a little one, or rub someone’s back as they fall asleep, it could very well be the last time. I won’t realize when my son says “pick-up me fuhst Mommy” for the last time in that little munchkin voice.
I feel extra panicky about my boys growing up. If I cultivate a good relationship with my daughter, I hope that even as an adult, she’ll still need me. Maybe we’ll go shopping together, have lunch or she’ll call me when she has something to talk about. My boys will grow up, become men, and no longer be my little boys. I know it’s a big assumption that they will get married, or that they will marry a woman, but for the sake of simplicity, that’s the scenario I’m imagining. When they get married that woman will take my place as the #1 woman in their lives (if I haven’t already fallen down the totem pole), as well it should be. Hopefully they’ll chose a great woman who won’t look at me as the monster-in-law, and I’ll still get to be a part of their lives, but it’s definitely different than a daughter.
I’ve had two people recently tell me that I look much younger than 32. Of course I was pleased but then I thought hey, since when is 32 old? I spent most of my life wanting to be older and look older. Somewhere around 26 I started looking my age, and then the fight against time began. 😉
I’m realizing how fleeting life is. Today I’m sitting here wondering where my 20’s went. Tomorrow I’ll be saying “hey, where’d my 50’s go?” But hopefully I’ll have grandchildren then!