The difference a decade makes…

“Where are you going, my little one, little one? Where are you going my baby, my own? Turn around and you’re two, turn around and you’re four….” 

My mom used to sing this song when I was little, and I never really got it  ’till just a few years ago.  Time seemed to stand still until I had children of my own. 

My oldest boy is 14, and my youngest boy just 4, and what a difference a decade makes!  As a first time mother, when misty-eyed grandmothers used to come up to me in supermarket and say, “Enjoy these years… they grow up so fast,” a little part of me thought they were nuts.  Three months of colic seemed like 3 years.  I couldn’t wait for the day when I would no longer have to scrape mashed peas off his little chin!  I LOVE babies with a passion, but a tiny voice in my Mommy-weary brain was screaming, “They grow up so fast…. hmph…not fast enough!  After my second and third child… I think differently. 

When the little one comes downstairs in a self-chosen outfit, he looks for my approval.  I tell him he looks “cool.”  His chin goes up a few notches and he walks on air for a few moments.  The oldest won’t look for my approval anymore… and when it is offered, it inevitably results in a change of clothes! 

When I navigate the grocery store parking lot with my youngest, it is with the eyes of a hawk and a tiny hand in mine.  With my oldest, he is more likely to have the hawk eyes.  I am the one being protected… his hand hovers near the small of my back, guiding ME.  Turn around….

When the well meaning grandmother says, “They grow up so fast,” I simply say, “They do, don’t they?”  A couple more turns, and I’ll be the one with misty eyes.  


3 thoughts on “The difference a decade makes…

  1. Oh Kim, reading this made me all teary eyed. My son will be 14 is a few days and my daughter turned 11 in July. Isn’t it true how you suddenly realize how fast they have grown, and you wish you could have enjoyed those early years more 😦 I guess it is never too late to enjoy moments with older kids- even if they think we are so “un-cool”.

  2. Anna & Tammy… There’s something about those early teen years that just stops you dead in your tracks, isn’t there? As an adult, you realize that they still have SO much growing up to do, but…. WOW…. they are just SO not babies anymore! Thanks for your comments. I do my best to “enjoy” each day with my kids too… It’s hard sometimes when you get caught up in the WORK of Mothering… but every so often I love to stand back and say, “I am at least partially resonsible for the neat teenager this baby of mine has become!” It just goes FAST!

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