Children are such a joy to have and fill a home with laughter, tears (from the parents not them), and many memories. I love being a mom and over the last 21 years wouldn’t trade any of the time I’ve had with my children. But if I could go back to any time in their lives it would be any time before they turned 10. Why you ask.
It’s simple. Before 10 mom and dad were superheros. We knew everything and spending time with us was all they wanted to do. I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom for their childhood’s so I got to experience all their firsts all their trials and all their growths first hand. I got to teach them, play with them all the time, and train them and am so thankful for that opportunity. During that time I was the cool mom, the fun mom, and the mom who knew everything, could fix anything, and pretty much knew how to find anything. My girls joke now. “Okay mom you said to look for it here and it’s not. How about you come show me cuz mom’s seem to instantly find anything just by walking over to the area we’re all looking in”. (And I usually do)
My children still come to me for everything and I am the one they want to heal the pain and at least for my oldest, still play games with. But now mom doesn’t know everything especially when it comes to homework and math. Mom isn’t as cool and at least for my youngest I’m just old and don’t get it. She said the other day, “Mom you just don’t remember what it’s like to be my age do you?”
I know my kids all still love me and their world would not be right any other way but I miss my little kids. I miss the days of them wanting all my attention and talking to me about anything and everything. I miss the snuggles, the hugs, the ‘I love you’ out of the blue for no reason. I miss being their entire world and their superhero. I still get the hugs from my older two but have to grab them myself and I still get special talks with them and they still want to sit next to mom whenever they can. But now it comes with mom I need this or I’m out of this. Have you done the wash yet? What’s for dinner? And my all time favorite, ‘I’m bored but I don’t want to play games with you or go for a walk or play outside’. And the hardest is my youngest because I think she really thinks I’m old. She is much like her daddy was at her age and likes to be on her own, usually in her room on the phone with friends. She doesn’t like to talk about anything going on her life cuz it’s just weird and she is very her own self. If her mind is set one way there is no changing it or convincing her otherwise. I love her to death and she is so precious to me and as my youngest it is the hardest letting her grow up because we had three years alone together through the days while her older siblings were in school and I was her world. Now I am just mom, she’s glad I’m around but wants to be left alone.
As hard as this is for me I know their dad is having a harder time. Because he worked through the day or night during their childhood’s he loved the time he had with them in the afternoon and evenings. They all loved wrestling with him and trying to tackle him, they loved goofing off with him and snuggling with him also. To them he was the smartest man and pretty awesome with his silly stories and games. When he was around and they weren’t getting into trouble they wanted to hang out with him and go places with him. If dad said ‘I’m going somewhere who wants to go with me?’ They would all jump up and say yes. And he’s been a great daddy. He always put anything aside to play with them, he taught them to throw baseballs and footballs, he taught them more how to swim then I did, he taught them how to ride their bikes and would always ride along with them. He has always been an involved active dad in their lives and to them he was their SUPERHERO. In a way he still is as he teaches them how to fix cars, tinker around the home, and take responsibility in life as they grow up into adults. He is still their moral compass even when they don’t want to hear it and he still will always be there for them at the drop of a hat. But like me, now that they are older dad is just dad. An annoyance to my oldest most of the time because he’s so much not like her, a brat and best friend to my son (I think dad is still the coolest in his world to him), and to my youngest ‘dad just leave me alone’. So yes now it’s harder for him then me because he is an involved dad and they don’t want him involved like he used to be. They love him and need him around but they want him to be the dad in the background now. The one who will play with them when they want it and the one who will let them do their own thing and stay quiet the rest of the time.
We both know this too will pass and there will be a day when we will be new superheros to them. But for now we sit back and wonder what happened? When did my babies grow up and not need us like they used to? When did we become so old? So any parents with young children still at home, treasure the moments, capture the time and lock them in your heart and mind. Take lots of pictures (there will be a day they won’t allow that either) and put aside anything that would distract the time you have with them for later and go play, go for a drive, or just snuggle and giggle. Before you can blink they will be teenagers and you won’t be so cool anymore. They will always need you and you will always need them. Let them grow up but don’t let go. As my husband puts it, “Whether you want me to bug you or not or want me here or not, you’re my kids, I love you, and I’m not going anywhere so deal with it.” And I have said. “Just come sit with me once in a while and give me ten minutes of your time just talking and you can go off and do whatever the rest of the time. I’ve been here you’re entire lives and even if you don’t want me around or feel you always need me I need you and I love you.”
Don’t misunderstand me because I love the stages they are in now most of the time and the memories we are building now are setting a foundation for our lives as a family as we continue to grow and my children still make me smile most of the time with what they come up with but I miss the younger years and some day’s wish for them back again, especially with my baby girl now 16 and my older two already graduated. God has been great and blessed my home with such joy and laughter and I am so thankful for my wonderful husband who has been a great daddy and for my children who are wonderful in so many ways. So remember when you’re pulling you’re hair out that time marches on and they will grow up in a blink of an eye. Love them, discipline them, and treasure them.