Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Enjoy the "Firsts" But Take Time to Remember the Bittersweet "Lasts".

My kids are so big now.  Imp is seven and Duke is nine and they are growing as fast as the gray hairs on my head.

Today I was looking over old photos (on the computer because I have not printed photos for my albums in years, bad mom) and remembering all of the exciting "first" moments.  The first time they ate real food, the first time they crawled, the first time they walked, the first time they talked, the first time they swam, etc.

As parents we get so excited when our children learn something new and/or reach a new milestone. However, how many times do you talk to parents who can't wait until their babies start walking, and then fret it was so much easier and cuter when they just crawled.

And at times we might even move them along too quickly, like the time I made Imp cry while trying to teach him to read before he was ready.  Or the time I dragged a reluctant Duke onto a small amusement park ride that spun and made him throw-up.

As my children get older I notice I spend less time concentrating on their firsts and quite a bit of time trying to remember the last time they did something.

I used to call it "feeding time at the zoo" and I hated wiping down everything (including the floor and the boys) after they ate.  I remember thinking it would be great when the boys would be able to eat without a shower curtain on the floor.

But now I miss the messy faces smeared with food.

I used to hate to swing the boys on the park swings.  "Swing me, Swing me!"  It was torture and I envied those moms sitting on the benches playing on their phones or chatting with their friends, but I still spent hours and hours pushing away.

Then one day they stopped asking.  Now I ask them if I can swing them.

It is so frustrating  when your baby is upset and unable to tell you what is wrong.  I remember thinking how much easier it would be when my boys could explain to me with their words why they were so upset.

But now I miss these incredible roller coaster emotions that would pass in a heartbeat with a simple hug and cuddle.

I remember looking forward to the day when the boys could ride bikes so we could actually go places and explore.

But now the boys race away on their bikes and a part of me misses them running over my foot with their trike because they wanted to stay right at my side.

I remember thinking how much easier it would be when the boys were bigger and could reach their own cups in the kitchen, go on long hikes at the park, shoot hoops with me, and help with the chores.

But I miss the days when they were tiny and light and they would say "Carry me, carry me" in that adorable pleading voice.

Now I am excited when they grab my hand for a moment.

I remember those days I couldn't wait until they were old enough to go play outside on their own so I could get some things done.

But now I still find myself watching them from the front porch even though they don't need me there.

I find myself not correcting their little verbal mistakes like "gril" for "girl"  and "pring prink" for "spring creek" because I think it is so adorable.  And then Granny corrects them and a little part of me gets upset because they are growing up so quickly and I want to hang on the last visage of their babyhood.

Just a few months ago Imp stopped calling me "Mommy" and substituted it with "Mom".  I think a little part of my heart died.

If you still have young ones at home and there are times you wish they would hurry and grow up so you will have more free time and "get your life back", take a few minutes to enjoy the moment.  One day you will be one of those older adults enjoying your peace and quiet at the coffee shop while watching the wild and crazy toddler at the next table and find yourself missing those days when you were a young parent.  Those tiring but joyful days that are filed away on your computer and brain but otherwise long gone.

Your parents are right, they do grow up so fast.  Too fast.  I don't think I really understood the meaning of "bittersweet" until I had children.

Do you have a list of your own child's "last" that you miss?  Please share them in my comments, I would love to read them.  :-)

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  1. Awww....this made me cry. My girls are 9 and 7 (almost 8) too. I had forgotten a few of these like getting their own cups. Some days I wouldn't want to go back bc I like the age they are now but I've decided I don't want them to get any older!!

  2. You hit it spot on. I have a 5 week old boy (my 4th and last) and am already guilty of looking forward to the next stages. My oldest is 6 so I hope I will remember to take the time to savour these fleeting moments. I am looking forward to a good night's sleep, though. Is that too much to ask ;)?

  3. This is so good. So good! My girl is 14 months and we are already anxious for more kids, and i find myself wishing some days away to get to the "next" thing. I will live in the moment more now. Thanks for the reminder!!!

  4. Your boys are precious, Rita! Yes, it DOES go way too fast...both my kids graduated from college this year and I swear they were just babies! Enjoy them NOW!

  5. I have a son who just turned 21, he is a full fledged adult. However, when I see him making mistakes I remember that little 2 yo old with wild hair and nothing on but a diaper running to me to pick him up. He doesn't run to me anymore, he just makes his mistakes and takes whatever is coming to him; like a man I suppose. But I still miss that wild hair baby.

  6. I loved reading these comments, thank you! I love them at this age, they are so fun. But I know that they are growing so quickly and I am really trying to be more in the moment.

  7. This post really resonates with me! My baby girl is almost 8 months. I look forward to things, but then I realize I don't want it to all happen too fast! I wish we had pause and rewind buttons!

  8. Sweet post! I remember last year being frustrated that my kids were afraid to go in the ocean. Two days ago they both fearlessly jumped in the waves while I stood close by ready to grab them IF they needed me.