It seems like only yesterday I was talking about flying time and Charlie heading off to preschool. Crazy to think that it’s already been three years since then. Three years.
And now he’s headed off to first grade. Full day. All day. And suddenly, this feels so much more like my heart’s just out there walking around.
Everyone warns you that time goes by so quickly. In the store. At the park. Family. Friends. And in the midst of harried motherhood we roll our eyes or sigh and gasp or never think twice of the kind advice from strangers. The advice that if I could shout from the rooftops now I would.
This moment right now will soon become yesterday and then the past, but will feel so much like it just happened. And you live in this sort of in-between where you are eager to see what the future holds, but you wish, if even for just one moment, you could turn back time and squeeze your little one again. Not just any baby, but this one.
Last year, the baby that was my first niece went off to high school. Just yesterday, she was standing in her room with no door, demanding that someone rescue her. Little did she know she could just walk right out.
Just the other day, the baby born between my boys went off to kindergarten. Wasn’t it just yesterday that he went careening down the stairs in one of those ride-on cars?
The baby that was my first nephew will start high school next year and we talked recently about how it was just yesterday that he laid in bed screaming “Daddy, cover me up!” at different octaves and we laughed until our sides hurt.
And tomorrow, my baby will start first grade.
Wasn’t it yesterday that he squeezed his blankie close and used a binkie between his chubby cheeks?
That he played outside with his chubby baby body and ran around in the summer sun with a swim diaper on?
That he splashed in the fountains and climbed and toddled around exploring the world?
That he didn’t know what life was without the comfort of his own home and his best friend?
I found that blankie yesterday. I’ll probably curl up in a heap tomorrow. just like it was yesterday.
So no matter what age the babies around you are right now, squeeze them. Stop what you’re doing and hug them so tightly and commit to memory this exact moment. And don’t roll your eyes and say “Everyone says that! Motherhood is hard right NOW!” Because I promise you, this in-between, this progress, and growing up to the next stage is oh so much harder.
Embrace right now because soon you’ll be thinking about what happened just yesterday while you’re readying them to go off to life’s next big adventure.
Your job title as a parent never ends, it just changes. You learn to let go a little bit at a time. God lends you HIS children for a while. He expects you to raise them up in the way that they should go and the cycle goes on and on. It was never His plan for us to keep HIS children in the comfort of our little cocoon. In fact that would be crippling for them. One of the most difficult things in life is to watch our/His children make their own decisions and as a result make their own mistakes. That’s how we all learn. We have a tendency to want to wrap them up in bubble wrap and control all of the environmental factors surrounding them. Parents just need to be there when they fall. Of course there are certain things that parents do have some control over when their children are small. You just have to know what the boundaries are. The boundary lines keep changing as the children grow up. It’s all so frustrating for us as parents, but so liberating for the kiddos. It would be a bit strange to see a corporate CEO having his/her mother holding their hand at a business meeting. Heck, it would be odd to see a mother accompanying her child to their job at McDonald’s. Thank God most of our parents knew when to let go!
I’m just so thrilled that Charlie has two loving parents who are raising him to love the Lord. That is the foundation that needs to be in place. You are giving him the security of knowing that God loves him no matter what happens out there in the big world. He will also always know that he has the love of his parents and other family members to guide and protect him. You will be okay, Mommy. It’s good to have these feelings because you are human and you love your children with a fierce love that only a mother can understand. I know that feeling. I am very pleased to see that you get it when we old people tell you to seize the moments. We do know what we’re talking about. We’re also thrilled that God has allowed us to get a second chance when we become grandparents. It’s such a huge blessing because we get so much enjoyment out of it. We have so much more patience and time. Yet, it’s bittersweet because we wish that we had done it better the first time around. To everything there is a season…
Amy Waszczyk says
My baby started first grade today too. This year seemed so much harder than previous years. I wanted to squeeze her so tight but “mom you’re squishing me!”