We talk about how quickly our kids grow up. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. The hours/days drag, but the years fly, etc. I don’t know how many times I hear these words. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been the one saying them.
I’m beginning to suspect, however, that for me it’s not really about the speed with which time passes. The real issue is that it does. Time passes whether or not I approve. I think I wouldn’t be happy even if we had twice as many years to parent our kids. Just knowing things will change is what sticks in my craw. And that is the revelation that smacked me squarely in the head this morning.
I’m acutely aware that the time of being my nine-year old’s Favorite Person is not going to last forever. Now, perhaps, since I am a particularly amazing mom, it might go on for a bit longer than it would for, say, a run-of-the-mill mom … But I’m not gonna bet the farm on it.
Last night there was rather a loud thunder storm, and as often happens, it got loudest about an hour after the girls had settled into their beds. Allyson doesn’t love storms, but she will sleep through most anything. Katey, on the other hand, really does not love storms. And being nine, you’d think she’d have learned by now to navigate her way through a summer squall, even at bedtime. But … No. Therefore, several times last evening she made her way out of the room and wanted to snuggle and be reassured. And each time I went and snuggled and reassured. And I didn’t mind. Y’know why? Because I know there will come a night when she doesn’t need me to help her do this thing. And, knowing me like I do, there’ll come a night when I miss it — when I miss being needed to snuggle and to reassure.
I know, most of you less sentimental types out there are rolling your eyes. (I guarantee that my husband is.) And I know that parents of tiny ones are muttering, “If ONLY!” — because you feel like you’re needed 24/7 and you just want to have five minutes to use the bathroom. Alone! I remember those days, and I totally get it.
But I’m here to tell you, I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss most of this mothering business. And that day is coming — whether it’s coming fast or slow. That day when I get to do my own thing, when I get to do laundry for just two, when I get to not worry about picking up kids from school, when I get to walk through the garage and not have to make my way around bikes and scooters.
When I talk like that to my husband, he kinda gets this far-off, dreamy look on his face. And I’m sure it will be nice it many ways. Picking up and going to see a movie on the spur of the moment again will be refreshing. But … I’m going to miss these days.
So, perhaps, what I’m really taking all this time and space to say is: I’ll miss mothering kids one day. The End.