Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dear Blink-of-an-Eye


Dear Blink-of-an-Eye,

There's nothing like looking at old photos to experience your meaningful significance.  Digital slideshows of years past easily make us wonder where time went.  First one notices how tiny the kiddos used to be; then one realizes how old we have become.

On a day-to-day basis, we don't see how much our children grow.  During back-to-school time of the year, we see how much other kids have grown because we haven't seen them in a few months.  A friend of mine, upon seeing Dear Daughter, gasped at how much she's grown over the summer.  I looked at her and thought, really?  We parents may not notice the daily tiny bits of growth in our own kiddos, but there exist a few subtle clues.  Here are my Top Ten notable signs that my kiddos are growing up.

10.  When you realize your child is wearing flood pants or three-quarter sleeves that were not meant to be.  #GrowingLikeWeeds

9.  When all of a sudden DD can get her own clean plate from the cupboard and serve herself a snack from the top shelf of the pantry.  Or when one day Dear Son opens the garage door by pressing its button on his tippy toes, all by himself.  #OutOfReachHasNewMeaning

8.  (I always chuckle at the innocence of little kids who go to the potty with the door wide open when there are guests in the house.)  When children voluntarily close the door while using the restroom, you know that they've learned a thing or two about 'privacy'.  #HeyNoPeeking

7.  When your kids begin a sentence with "When I was a baby..."  #BabiesNoMore

6.  When children begin to explore foods beyond mac and cheese, hot dogs, and hamburgers at a sit-down restaurant, you know they are no longer satisfied with the Kids' Menu.  DD has started asking to try new foods, including sushi and vegetables!  #ItsAboutTime

5.  Speaking of food, when your child starts to eat more than you, get ready to 'go hungry or go broke'.  Voracious appetites signal extra caloric needs for a growth spurt.  #FromMyPlateToTheirs

4.  When your child no longer needs 'the lovey'.  It happened for DD one day out of the blue when she was five.  DS is still attached to his, but only at bedtime.  #LonesomeLovies

3.  When kiddos request a makeover of their room decor or favorite DVR show recordings, you know they are moving on to newer, better things.  #EndOfAnEra

2.  When after many years of violin practice at home, I finally realized that I needed to raise the music stand for DD--by a good four inches!  #GetWithItMama

1.  When your kiddos can make comebacks at you all on their own with their Sassy Mouths, you know your reign is over. #WheresMyParentingManual

I'm at a point where motherhood has gotten just a bit easier with both kiddos becoming more self-sufficient than ever.  But removing the Wow, Wow Wubbzy recordings and iCarly wall decals sort of hit a sensitive nerve in Dear Husband and me.  I think it will always go something like this: the kiddos move on while we parents still look back, unwilling to let go of what they've let go so easily.  For a moment, we really want to scoop up the dirt in which they left their footprints and keep them safely put away in a memory box.  But in the next moment, we are chasing them down that One Way path and just as eager to see what is up the road ahead.

These real-life signs of the kiddos' growth are even more profound than looking at old photos, because they are happening in real time and in your face.  So, Blink-of-an-Eye, even though you are an illusion--since Time is only steadily moving forward--you still remind us that today may be a day that we look back on fondly. 

Before the kiddos move onto something newer, better, and tweenier. 

Sincerely,
Me


18 comments:

  1. Wonderful post! I love it. This post is what I have been thinking a lot about lately.

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    1. Thank you, Dani! The kids' childhood feels like sand slipping through the fingers of my cupped palms. While I don't want Time to go back, I don't really want it to go forward, either...

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  2. This post both made me smile and made me sad. The floods, the plates, the Sass, the growing and eating and privacy, the ALL of growing up...and as you know, I have been pretty much fixated on the notion of Time slipping by, and everything that happens because of that.

    Or since that.

    Thank You!

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    1. Yes, Kim, I am becoming more and more aware of the slipping of time these days. Sometimes I catch glimpses of what DD will look like as a young adult, and it fills me with mixed emotions. This wasn't meant to be a Carpe Diem sort of post, but I think I end up telling myself to make the most of our present days. And, thank YOU!

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  3. I remember all of these milestones. For me, the day I hugged my son and I fit under his chin, was the day I knew he wasn't a baby any longer.

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    1. Awww, that imagery is both heartwarming and bittersweet, Tara! It really does go by like a blink-of-an-eye, doesn't it? Thank you for stopping by!

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  4. We are now in the process of getting rid of our old toys that the kids have grown out of. But I love Little People! So hard to say goodbye.

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    1. How cute that you like Little People! They are very fun for kids. We are also thinking about replacing DD's play kitchen in her room with a desk, and that screams 'growing up'! Yikes! Thanks, Asianmommy.

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  5. I can relate to this. I love that they are growing up and learning to be self-sufficient. But I'm also sad for the same reason. Each season, when the kiddos try on last years' clothes to see if anything still fits, I'm stunned at the change. You're right - we just don't see it when we're around them every day. It's also amazing how much they can eat. I swear when they reach teenage years, we'll have to get second jobs to stock the fridge.

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    1. Haha, I'm always telling the kids how lucky they are to get 'new' clothes and shoes each year, while I'm stuck wearing things from before the turn of the millennium! She's only 9, but there is at least one meal a day where DD eats more than I do. I fear those teenage years--since I remember being a locust myself! Thanks, Janna!

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  6. Oh, I hear ya! Everything you said strikes home with me. My kids are 9 and almost 8. They now help themselves to breakfast, close the door when peeing, and my 8yo now says, "whatevs" all the time. Where did the time go. They're starting 2 and 4 grade. Before I know it, they'll be ready for college (okay, I may be getting ahead of myself).

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. So glad you did!

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    1. Steph, I'm glad to have 'met' you through Trifecta! My kiddos are 9 and 5, and just growing up too fast! (BTW, I have anxiety issues, was/am a teacher, and am also a SAHM who found blogging/writing to be a wonderful outlet for sharing, community, and 'just-for-me'.) Thank you for stopping by, too!

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  7. Oh I so feel this one. So many of these milestones hit home for me - especially the growing. We just went up another size. And I realized yesterday that their bikes don't fit them :(

    That when I was a baby thing though? The wee ones have been saying that since they were ohhh 2 or so. Sheesh.

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    1. Tee hee, Michelle, I put that 'when I was a baby' one in there precisely because of its absurdity, because mind both did that, too! They're never going to stop growing, are they? I'm really starting to miss when they were smaller. *sniff*.

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  8. My favorites of your hashtags are: #GrowingLikeWeeds (when my son's tshirts are revealing the belly, he needs new ones); #BabiesNoMore (haha, "when I was a baby…"); #FromMyPlateToTheirs (some days, this happens and he's only 2!)

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    1. But we gladly give up our food to our kids so they'll grow and be strong, right? Usually... most of the time... er, except when it's OUR favorite food. Okay, maybe I won't say no to a baby or toddler, but I've definitely been caught bargaining with my DD. Thanks, Lisa!

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    2. Sometimes, even saying "no" to J, or "please share" doesn't work. Case in point: frozen custard at the boardwalk ;)

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  9. Good one! It's fast...so fast. I told someone once...hey you know that picture you like to stare at and wish you could jump in? Well it's not too late, look at your family and jump in.
    I'm not sure if i was talking to someone or myself. haha

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