The Years are Short… or that’s what “they” say. You know who says that to you, don’t you? The people trying to make you feel better while your child writhes around on the floor during a tantrum at Target because their cookie broke in half before they at it. They say it with a longing in their voice. All you can think is “will I actually MISS THIS??” You answer yourself with “no way.”
I’m sitting at my child’s college orientation, thinking about how quickly the last few months have gone.
Somehow the first few weeks of my oldest daughter’s life seemed to last forever. For. Ev. Er. I was healing from unplanned cesarean birth, and all I can remember of the first few weeks with her was a lot of crying, from us both and pumping/feeding. So many breastfeeding difficulties, crying in the middle of the night, days/nights swapped.
Then, life sped up just a touch. It was more than just feedings, there was some time spent doing other things- interactions, even a few brand-new gummy smiles.
Then toddlerhood. Some days were excruciatingly long, trying to entertain a toddler and take care of a baby. (Our older two kids are only 16 months apart.) Some days, the good ones, are seemingly a little shorter in length.
And then it sped up again. And a little bit again. And again.
1-5 years were a little long, but 5-12 started to really speed past with school activities, homework, sports, etc.
High school barely felt like a blink.
I’m not going to tell you you’ll miss these days if you’re still in time slog of the long ones. But, I am going to tell you, they seem to go quicker and quicker the older the child.
It seems unfair, in a lot of ways, that you spend years teaching, growing, and bringing up your children to only have them leave so quickly once you arrive near their adulthood. (I have always found some fun in each stage of parenthood, but there’s something special about a teenager and watching them grow into adults. It’s neat to watch them find themselves.)
It’s ok if you’re in a slow stage, and you think “I’m not going to miss this part”. Because, I assure you, I do not miss toddler tantrums, multiple middle-of-the-night wake-ups, or cleaning up vomit.
“You’ll miss this” is right in some ways, though. Sometimes I miss the kid with chubby cheeks who said “mazagine”. The kid who wore a cheetah print with stripes. The kid who loved dancing in her room to Taylor Swift. I loved that kid dearly. I still do.
I wouldn’t go back, though. I love the person my child has become and I wouldn’t miss being with who she is now to go back to the kid she was before. She was awesome then, and she’s awesome now. It turns out, though, the years are short. Some of them, at least.