While I’m on vacation, my loving and wise cousin Jenny, has graciously offered to write a guest post for my blog. It’s easy to see she’s been a great mother to Lily from this sweet post about stages, phases and the passing of time. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have.
I know many of you that are reading Maya’s blog have younger children. I am the mother of a “tween”. I enjoy reading Maya’s blog, it brings back lovely memories. You see, it’s true what they say, once you have kids, time seems to pass very quickly. Maybe it is because you have specific stages with which to identify the passage of time; such as when Lily was taking naps, when Lily was in preschool, or when Lily was in grade school. For me, there is a large block of time in my life, between college graduation and motherhood that seems to just meld together.
I can’t remember where or when I heard it, but someone told me that if you were dealing with a certain childhood behavior and you ask yourself whether they would still be doing that when they were 18 years old, and you could comfortable say no, then just wait it out. Everybody else’s 1-year old is walking and your baby is still crawling? Be patient. Terrible twos? Those too shall pass.
Unfortunately, this is all too true for the good things too. For years, my daughter’s hand automatically reached up to mine as soon as we hit the corner to cross the street. It was an instinctual thing, her hand reached up and mine reached down, and we crossed the street. Then one day, I can’t remember when, she just crossed on her own. Not that independence is a bad thing, it is a great thing, and it is your ultimate goal as a parent to raise an independent child, but it is also a sign of passage.
One day you are enduring a Wiggles concert and the next they are asking for a Lady Gaga CD. One day, you are picking out adorable baby clothes and then all of a sudden you have a willful child who will only wear what they select themselves. Forget about going shopping for their clothes on your own, unless you are willing to go back and return half of what you selected. This is also about the time when you realize that they actually have an incredible sense of their own style and are far more fashionable than you are! Gone are the days when your child laughs when you sing or dance; now you are just an embarrassment. I have yet to meet a child who will endure his or her mother singing along to the radio in front of their friends! Just not cool.
Don’t get me wrong, I immensely enjoy the time I spend with my eleven-year old. She is a happy, smart, delightful child. She is a joy. Therein lies the rub. She is so much more independent and spends a lot more time away from me already. Sleepovers are almost a weekly thing these days. It used to be that I sat and watched ballet classes or gymnastics classes or soccer practices. Now, there are car pools and drop offs. I still haven’t missed a soccer game, or an orchestra concert, or school performance, though, which as a working mother, I am very happy to be able to say. Just last night I sat through a two-hour concert to watch my daughter play one song!!!
All of a sudden, though, I realize that I am only five years away from handing over my car keys. I am starting to dread the fact that I am only eight years away from a tearful goodbye as she moves off to college. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the stages. Granted, I have loved all of the stages, not necessarily all of the “moments”. Walking out of Target with a screaming, kicking child held aloft by one hand was not a great parenting moment. I have a few of those. I like to tell myself that we all do.
Next year, Lily starts middle school, and I already find myself looking through old photos and videos wondering what happened to that chubby-cheeked baby I met in China ten years ago. It’s far too cliché, but I will say it anyway… treasure all of it. You will look back and miss those days, even as you are enjoying the present. I’m going to be reminding myself of that – all through the hormone-induced girl drama of middle school.
2 thoughts on “This too shall pass – Guest post!!!”
Wonderful post. My little girl is 4 and my little boy is 2, and on the days when they drive me mad with their age-related behaviours, I often find myself stepping back and muttering “This Is Just A Phase. It Too Shall Pass.” to myself. (I wrote about it here: http://lifetakesover.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/phases-weve-been-through-and-things-to-remember/) It’s a relief to know that these phases pass, but it makes me sad at the same time that everything passes way too quickly and my little ones are growing up right before my eyes. Soon, I’ll be wishing for those days of temper tantrums just so I can have the good days of this age too. 🙂
lovely post. And holy-moly can I relate to many of your “passage” moments. Some of them you deal with quite well, and then you have the ones that hit you in the solar plexus! 🙂