I’m getting this all too familiar pain deep down in my gut that alternates to my chest -- back and forth, back and forth. It’s not every day, but it is frequent. I can only describe it as hollow or maybe an ache. If I let my mind go with it, I get sad, depressed, and cry.
Before you go all WebMD on me, I’ve got a diagnosis.
My children are growing up too fast.
Like, lightning speed.
I barely remember Lincoln (4) as a baby without having to stop to really concentrate on that time, and Reagan (5 months) seems to be growing up at a speed that’ll put her on the school bus tomorrow.
Why does this happen? It’s downright cruel and rude that we have these kids as kids for such a short time. I feel bad I did it to my parents. (I’m talking like this now so can you imagine when they turn 16 or go off to college? I’ll be a mess.)
Often, I make myself numb to this pit-of-my-stomach + heartbreak feeling. I have to or it would truly send me into the looney bin.
NEVER do I say “I can’t wait until…” in an effort to slow time down as much as possible. Wishing for the next milestone erases what’s happening now (and that will never happen again once the milestone is reached).
Time is a B…
Lincoln and I joke that he’s not allowed to grow up in our house. He slyly says “Mommy…I growed up today.” My verbal reply is always a happy-toned “No, no, no, no you didn’t, you stinker” while my head and heart scream “NO! PLEASE! STOP just for today.”
As Reagan’s verbal and physical skills develop at unfair rate, I cheer her triumphs of smiles, giggles, and sitting up, while reminding myself that she’s probably my last baby. GULP.
I don’t do this crazy stuff to myself all day, every day, but it’s there. I’m glad, though. Well, sort of.
Constantly recognizing that these moments are fleeting is the only thing that keeps me in the present when I’m with them. It’s so easy to goof around on my phone when I get home from work or to immerse myself in unnecessary household chores for hours while they play in another room. I don’t, though. I do what needs to be done (including working outside the home and the dishes) and get back to them because tomorrow, Linc may not want to stack blocks, and I’ll have missed my chance.
I focus when we’re together. Often staring at every detail of their faces and little bodies and zoning in on their noises and conversations. I grab hugs and kisses every single change I get. I hold hands. Hell, I hold feet and legs and arms, too. (And I pinch little butts. They’re too cute!)
What do you do to try to stop time or savor it with your wonderful children?