I remember when I would go out with my first born.
Inevitably I was stopped several times by a older lady
who absolutely NEEDED to give me advice about my child.
And each one of them ended with…
Enjoy every minute…she will be grown before you know it.
And every time they said it I thought …
I haven’t slept in days.
My boobs are sore and swollen…
I am up to my elbows in poopy diapers.
My gosh I can not wait for her to be older!
Before you knew it she was five and headed off to kindergarten.
And whenever we went out some older lady would stop
us and comment on how lovely she was and how much
fun this age is and how I should not blink…
Because before I knew it …she’d be grown
And all I could think was this kid only eats hot dogs…
Won’t go to bed when I tell her too and she just drew
all over the walls with crayon…
I can not wait for her to get bigger!
Fast forward to middle school….
We would go to the mall to go get “cool”
clothes and every single time an “older lady”
stopped us and said how much fun we looked like
we were having and to cherish days like this because
before you know it…she would be grown/
By now I was getting pretty tired of these ladies.
Didn’t they know how moody and difficult pubescent
teenage girls are?
Didn’t they remember how their kids stopped
down the hall and slammed their door and
blasted the latest boy band?
Didn’t they remember the school bus drama and the
tears and the pain in the neck boys who would come around?
I absolutely could not wait for her to get bigger!
Couldn’t come soon enough.
In high school my daughter was in the band.
Senior year she was the drum major and she
got to do pomp and circumstance at all the games
And at each one there would be an older lady who would comment
how beautiful she looked in her uniform and how precious
these moments were….
And they sighed as they told me she would be grown soon.
And I thought…
YES…soon we would have peace and quiet.
It was just around the corner.
I could imagine Larry and I on the couch relaxing.
Watching OUR shows…not hers.
I could imagine the SILENCE and how
beautiful it would be.
Those ladies were all nuts.
Having them grow up would be AWESOME…
And then we dropped her off.
She went away to college and it was a bit
quieter but we still had the little one at home
so there was plenty of carpooling and concerts
and shows to attend.
Driving lessons and boyfriends and parties.
We were in the home stretch.
She would also be grown soon and we would be F.REE…
Or so I thought.
Because the day they were both gone I realized
that those pesky old ladies were RIGHT.
That each and every moment was PRECIOUS and
that they would NEVER come again.
Today my first born turned 23.
She lives independently in New York City and
works at that place that helps you search the internet
all day long (figure it out)
She is grown.
Not just kinda grown.
She is grown.
Beautiful and elegant and able to handle herself.
I am now one of those “older ladies”
And I sit and enjoy every single baby picture on Facebook
and of course I want to tap every single one of those moms
on the shoulder….tell them how beautiful their child is and
tell them to enjoy every moment before they are grown.
It takes a little practice to get used to being in this role.
I do tend to pester my kids a bit still.
And worry about them now and again.
But I KNOW that I was THERE for all the moments.
And even if I didn’t quite understand how special they were
at the time…I know NOW that it was worth finding a way
to be with them.
We were broke for a long while due to the decision.
But I wouldn’t change a thing.
We figured it out.
AS A FAMILY.
And I hope that you decide to be brave enough to
figure it out too.
Or perhaps you are like me…
Your children are grown.
Then for you I ask you to link arms with me
and go out there and show as many people as
we can that it’s POSSIBLE.
That we can have more time with our families.
And that in fact ….even though the world might disagree…
IT IS RIGHT.
There’s my old lady wisdom for you as I wish
my beautiful daughter Jillian the happiest of birthdays.
I finally get it baby.
I get that time is all we have.
I love you.