This cannot be. I must be dreaming.
Those forever moments are now just a blur.
I used to get annoyed when my kids were little and older people would smile at me and tell me, “Enjoy them while they are little. It goes by so fast.”
I smiled back at them and nodded, trying to look as though I was sure they were imparting valuable wisdom to me that I had never heard before. But inside my mind, I was actually screaming at them: “Are you kidding me? Fast?!! They’re only 2 and 4! Don’t you understand how many more tantrums I have to endure, how many more messes I have to clean up, how many more times I’m supposed to be patient when I don’t FEEL patient??! It sounds like F-O-R-E-V-E-R until I’m out of this stage. Sure, I am over-the-moon crazy in love with my little boys, but this ain’t movin’ fast, smarty pants.” When I read the quote, “The days last forever, but the years fly by,” I focused on the “days lasting forever” part. One of my favorite writers, Jennifer Wannenmacher, shared a wonderful, intimate story on the paradox our our lives as parents.
How many more tantrums do I have to endure?
Yep. The hours and minutes between making dinner while they fought for attention from a tired mommy and when the darling little barbarians were tucked in and asleep did indeed last forever. Then I had another baby and the clock was reset for another 18 years. Fast? I don’t think so.
Poof…Off to College
And yet…. here I sit on an airplane next to my 6’1″ son, headed to Boston to go look at colleges.
Seriously? I’ve invested all these years in raising him and now that he’s this interesting, fun, sweet young man, I’m supposed to pay huge amounts of money to send him off and let someone else have the fun of enjoying him? After all these years, he’s finally useful. He’s easy, he’s fun to hang out with, and he’s still not cheap, but I guess kids never are.
I feel them. Those words about how fast it has all gone by. They’re right there in my mouth, begging to squirt out all over those of you with little kids. But I won’t do that to you.
Happy and Sad…Peering out of the Trenches
Besides, I’m not out of the trenches yet. I’ve still got two more sons, two stepsons and one little stepdaughter to raise. And treasure. And be aggravated by.
Still seems impossible to imagine all of them morphing into adolescents and being grown up.
It’s crazy, this venture of raising children.