It’s a funny thing watching your children grow, as time passes and birthdays come and go the realisation hits you that they are no longer your baby or your toddler.
They become little people, independent from you.
First they go to school, then on trips to the petting zoo and playdates. As the years go by they are all of a sudden young adults, the petting zoo turns into a weekend in Paris and the playdate becomes a house party.
It really does happen so fast.
Before you know it the small boy who used to be pressed against your hip in his Power Rangers pyjamas is buying a navy blue suit for the prom.
He doesn’t fit against your hip anymore because he’s a good foot taller than you. It’s the strangest thing, trying to figure out how this giant once fitted inside your body! How he grew and grew until he was bigger than six feet tall.
The little girl who you used to sit and wait for outside ballet class is now buying a bus day rider ticket and negotiating her way around the city to go shopping with friends.
I sometimes wonder if my older children remember the bond we had when they were little. Unbreakable still, yes, but so very different than it once was.
I wonder if my daughter knows that I still pause outside her bedroom to listen to her breathing each night on my way to bed.
I wonder if my son knows about the time I felt so panicked after the minibus departed for his first scout trip that I followed it all the way down the motorway just to check he was safe. He’s talking about getting a moped soon, how can I follow him now?
I know I have to accept that they are older and they don’t need me in the same way anymore but in many ways I hate it and I ask myself if that’s crazy or weird or if every mum feels the same way.
I am unbelievably proud of the young adults my children have become and all that they’ve achieved but when I look back on all our years together, I feel so nostalgic for the little people they once were and such a longing for those childhood days and back to a time when they would leave notes for the tooth fairy and still believed in Father Christmas.
For children it’s exciting to edge closer to those teenage years and young adulthood but for the parents it’s so bittersweet watching them grow and I don’t think I will ever get used to it because there’s never enough time to enjoy it, just as it is.
Children have the unforgivable habit of growing up-Bjarne Reuter
Title image credit:Pyjama School