Be Warned…This Will Happen to You!
Do you have children? Are they still toddling around the house getting into things they shouldn’t? Do they jump up on the dining room table and yell, “Spider Alert! SPIDER Alert! SPIDER ALERT!” at the top of their lungs until you come kill the spider for them (the one that’s long gone by the time you get there)?
Do you at times tire of little kids who need your time and attention every waking second? Perhaps you have one of those kids that seems attached to you with an invisible umbilical cord, that can only be out of your sight before so long before they come running back to check on you, just to make sure you’re still there.
Perhaps there are days you secretly wish they’d hurry up and grow up. Won’t it be wonderful for when they are older and can do (fill-in-the-blank) all by themselves, you wonder? Think of all the freedom you’ll have to craft, paint, decorate, sew, WHATEVER without a little helper to assist you and ask for a play-by-play of your creative process.
Do you find that you define part of yourself by your motherhood role? I’m a mother of young children? I have toddlers? My kids are….? Is this how you see yourself?
If so, you might want to make sure you add some other definitions in there along the way. While being a mother is the very best part of my life, it’s not the ONLY part of my life. And those toddlers? The ones that suck every waking minute of our lives and turn our focus on them? You know what happens? They grow up! That’s what happens. Usually when you’re not paying attention.
Before you know it, they’re getting bigger and experiencing new things.
They may not need you as often as they once did. You no longer telegraph secret love messages with hand squeezes as you cross the street. They don’t need you to hold your hand any more (at least, not for safety reasons).
Their interests expand and they start to have a life beyond your circle of influence.
One day, you’re going on school field trips to the zoo and to parks and such. The next thing you know, they are exploring caves and hiking in the mountains.
Life may throw you a curve ball or two along the way. You may discover that this child of yours has an acute, gangrenous appendix and you have to leave him in the hands of strangers to trust that they can fix him and make him all better.
Soon enough, though, he’s back in action, being all adventurous, folding his exceptionally long arms and legs into a tiny derby car so he can race down hills or going taking off on week-long canoe trips in upstate New York.
Stranger still are the days when you realize that you no longer have the height advantage.
Your “baby” now has a bit of a ‘stache and he’s grown 3 inches in six months, and his voice is deeper and TODAY, he’s a teenager.
A really wonderful, completely perfect in every way, so proud to be call him Son, teenager.
I’m not sure how it snuck up on me like it did. It never really seemed all that fast in the moment. I guess it’s time I stop thinking of myself as a mom of “kids”. I have teenagers and adult children. I’m even a half-empty nester.
Here’s the thing…enjoy whatever stage you are in with your kids. Raising toddlers is hard. There’s no doubt about that one. But as they get bigger, so do their problems and challenges in life. Teenagers and adult children need you more than you’d ever guess, but they need you in a different way than they did as toddlers.
Once they hit those teenage years, it seems like you’ve just hit the warp speed button and time flies past. I know I still have five + years, at the minimum, of having kids in my home. But five years goes pretty darn fast and I hope to squeeze every last morsel of joy and fun and love out of those years.
Happy Birthday, Kiddo! I love you so much. You are a true joy in my life. Thanks for being such a great person and son.
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