Why I'm not wishing for my kids to stay little

Yesterday I wrote about my daughter beginning high school. Tomorrow is her last day of freshman year. Ok, the end of eighth grade post was almost exactly a year ago, but that’s how fast this school year flew. It’s often said that when parenting “the days are long and the years are short;” that couldn’t be more true.

Milestones are no longer measured in firsts: words…steps…teeth.

We’ve transitioned to three more summer breaks before college. My God…college.

jake 2011 2Facebook occasionally slaps us in the face with a “5 years ago” photo that barely resembles the teenagers they’ve become.
-5 years ago when they weren’t taller than me.
-5 years ago when high school- let alone college- seemed like a million years away.

As much as those photos catch my breath, I don’t wish for them to stay little. I know too many whose kids are “forever 12.” I don’t wish that on anyone.

Nonetheless, it’s scary.  It’s fast.

Though I complain about the endless driving to and from practices and tournaments, next time I blink my daughter will be driving.

And, as much as this rapid pace makes me want to throw up a little, it’s also getting really good.

selfie with kaela

Their circles are widening, their opinions are forming (and changing and changing again), and the conversations are deeper.

Certainly every stage has its challenges; I was by no means a fan of the baby stage, postpartum was not my friend.

Time is a funny thing, though. Sort of how we forget about the pain of childbirth, we forget about the potty training, the night terrors, the sleepless nights…well, those never really go away, it’s just different worries waking us.

I have friends with kids just beginning school, some with kids already in college, and others who are holding their grandkids. We can’t escape the inevitable…they grow up. And, we get to choose, hold on to what was or embrace where we’re going.

Though the days seem to blend from one right into the other, every so often we need to take a breath and remember how far we’ve come. We’re parents. We’re survivors- because this shit isn’t easy.

They aren’t ours to hold onto, we merely get to introduce them to the world first.

And, if we’re lucky, they’ll want to keep sharing some of that time with us while they learn to fly.

So, I’m going to keep belting show tunes in the car with my daughter as often as she’ll let me. And, I’ll drop everything if my son asks to play a game of catch.

525,600 minutes seems much longer than a year. But, maybe it’s better to measure the time in love than minutes anyway.

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