Kids growing up.My kids will grow up.
Try as I might, I cannot keep time from coming for them.
Their tender baby roundness continues to fall away as the chiseled faces and bodies of lengthening children emerge. Their silliness has given way to real humor...catchy, clever, wise. Their daytime is less about cuddling and direction, and more about freedom and independence. My daughter has begun to request privacy and would prefer to read her own story at bedtime. My son patiently explains the relationship between water and steam as I sit wondering: Who is this intelligent being?
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For my part I try to navigate the bipolar relationship between my joy and terror as I venture into a different phase of the motherhood. I'm so happy to see them here, safe, happy, well adjusted, loving, and kind, and yet I simultaneously want to freeze these moments -- I am terrified of the day I'll long to bury my lips in a sweet-smelling neck as they stand waiting with an impatient upturned palm for the keys to my car.
Have I spent enough time playing and cuddling and laughing with them? Have I been the mommy I always wished I would be?
Have I been more? Have I been less?
My children are almost seven and ten now. I sit here writing easily remembering endless days filled with clock watching as I wondered how i'd ever survive the endless minutes till bedtime. I remember resenting... wondering when my life would ever be about "me" again (ha! Never, really). And of course time had a way of softening the rough edges of my individualism until it didn't matter anymore -- who am I, really, without them now? They are as much a part of me as I am of myself, and as uniquely individual as I once was before them.
Motherhood has a way of transforming time from a scarcity to a commodity and back to a scarcity again.
My "time" as mommy to my small children was never really mine, but theirs all along.
This post was written by Monica Rodgers.