My daughter loves to tell me that she only has 4 more years left at home with us. Isn’t that cruel? Yes, Natalie, I know that college is only four years away. I recognize college is a beautiful privilege that my children will get to enjoy. I understand that it is a privilege to watch them soar. But I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little sad about it all. I know what aging truly means. It means that they will leave me and my nest. They will grow and create a family of their own. I will watch them soar and stride and make mistakes and fall down and pick themselves back up… and then I will watch them do it all over again.
My Time With My Children Is Limited
So, what does this all mean for me? It has put me in a very odd space. I find myself pausing from time to time… or attempting to pause time I should say. Throwing my phone aside. Putting the work on hold. Looking the little ones right in their eyes and telling them that I love them over and over again.
We KNOW MOMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!
Do you know that Caleb is now the exact age that Liam was when I had him? But when Caleb was a newborn I thought that Liam was a GIANT MAN. I can clearly see how I was SO WRONG back then. Caleb is a baby at 5 years old and I now understand that Liam was just a little boy as well when his brother came into the world. He missed so much of me because I was so focused on my newborn. That makes me beyond sad.
I won’t let that happen again. Now, I look at my 11-year-old boy and see him as a child. New lenses! Because before I know it he will be 18 or 25 and I will be longing for time with that 11-year-old little guy. I won’t let this time slip through my fingers. Not again. I won’t make that mistake twice. I’ve learned my lesson.
Time is my enemy. I say it over and over again on this site. I recognize how fast it spins around us as we stand still checking our status updates and IG filters. Useless.
I think – this year – I just want to spend time doing absolutely nothing. Nothing special, that is. I want to make puzzles and build forts. I want to count toes and go for walks. I want to rent movies and bake monkey bread. I just want to stretch out the nights until they turn into days. The memories will last longer that way. There are only four more years left until college. And then what?
It’s funny because Bill and I always say that Caleb is keeping us young. Thanks to him, we are now back at the Kindergarten- First Grade school building. He is forcing us to meet different parents who are all on their first child. We’re walking down the Play-Doh aisle and searching out fun Off-Broadway show tickets. Thank goodness for that. I don’t know what that next phase will feel like. The one that has us all going to the horror movie on a Friday night instead of opting for the latest animated flick. Will they even want to come with us to the movies? Maybe I’m giving myself too much in this dream?
My time is limited…
But I suppose I am being a bit too dramatic. They all come back home, don’t they? Children to their parents? Eventually, they still need them. When they have kids of their own – they spend weekends together, right? Holidays. Birthdays. Lazy Sundays. Date nights.
It won’t just be me and Bill for the rest of our lives. Not that that’s a bad thing…. but I did have three babies. Shouldn’t they stick around?
This picture hit me in my gut last week. I found it while we were cleaning out the basement. It was from a vacation way before Caleb was born. I remember being on that beach wishing for a simpler life. Wishing to run away with my babies and live a life where it would always be just that. Sunshine and laughter. Nothing else.
I think I need a vacation – like in a major way. I might book us one and not mention it to anyone. Suprise them all with a fast weekend getaway. That would cause a MAJOR FIGHT OMG. I’m pretty sure Bill would kill me. But wouldn’t that be wonderful? Three days on the beach with nobody to answer to? My time is limited with my children. I have to make the most of what we have left. And I think that involves sandy toes, salty hair, and a spicy margarita.