On a message board I frequently frequent, a topic came up. It was a normal type of topic, a “I’m sad, my baby is growing up so much!” type of post. I read all these posts from other moms who felt the same way. And part of me gets it. I know I’ve had my moments of “What happened to my baby????” Seriously, I look at my boys – who are now taller than me – and wonder when I blinked, becauseI swear, they were sweet little six and four year olds just a moment ago.
But do I wish they were babies, toddlers, or sweet little six year olds again? No. First, I do enjoy who they are right now. They’re fun guys. My oldest has a wicked sense of humor that is fun to watch (like the day he told his sister that if she became president, it would be the next Apocolypse.)
The main reason though that I’m glad they’re growing up is because I live with the result of what happens when your child doesn’t grow up. Maura is seven, but is like a big 3 year old. Yesterday, she was all set to go in a ballet costume, her sister’s shoes and sunglasses. Cute now. But will she still wear this outfit at 25? High possibility. Will people think she’s cute then…or just some weird woman in a ballet costume? We won’t think of that answer just yet.
It takes Maura forever to go through stages of life. We spent a while being an infant, long after she was too big to be one. Then we spent a long time in toddlerhood. Toddlers are adorable – when they’re 20 lbs. When they’re 40 lbs, it makes things harder. Imagine when your 3 year old has a temper tantrum and throws himself onto the floor…you can usually scoop the kiddo up and manuever him easily. Not so easy when that screaming child is 50+ lbs and only a few inches shorter than you.
Old ladies come up to me, see Maura and tell me “Oh, she’ll grow up so fast.” I surprise them when I say “I hope so!” I’ve never wished for a child to grow up as I have Maura. Because I see daily the effects of not growing up, and it’s hard to watch sometimes. I love and appreciate every little grown up moment that she has.
So what was my advice to these other moms? Basically - this post. When your toddler is running away from you – be grateful they can run. When your 3 yr old is talking your ear off – be thankful they can talk. When your 2 1/2 year old is frustrating you because they’re *almost* potty trained but not quite – get down on your knees and thank whatever deity you want to that they can be potty trained and you’re not changing the diaper of a 7 year old!
Celebrate your child’s emerging skills and abilities and independence. Because while we all wish our babies would stay our babies, the reality is, watching them grow up is less heartbreaking than watching them not grow up.
Though I’ll admit – I love that I have one kid still who wants to give me hugs and kisses