Three things happened this week to make me ponder. Firstly, Eloise completed her HSC exams – no more children at school (some might think that would me happy, but it doesn’t). Secondly, a lovely photo my friend Sim put on Instagram of the last school photo of her children together in primary school – with the comment “that went way too fast”. Thirdly, when I was grocery shopping with Eloise (certainly not a common occurrence), I spoke to a lady in the queue and she said her sons were now 28 and 30, living in London and not likely to return to Australia to live. She gets sad when she sees mums with their young adult children and makes her miss her boys even more (isn’t that sad?).
So the thought for the day – enjoy every stage that your children are in. I tried to do this when they were little, never wishing time away. I find that I’m not doing that so much now – as I foolishly keep saying “Oh I can’t wait until you get married and have children, so I can be a Nanna”. How selfish is that. Stop, I tell myself, enjoy the days now!
I can’t remember the number of times when they were little I heard the words “enjoy the years while they are young”. I thought I’d never say that to young mums……..Well forget that – I say those same words all the time to young parents.
So with this in mind – I asked some of my friends who have teenagers or young adult children to let me know what they miss about their children being little. I received some beautiful, heartfelt, honest comments which I’d like to share.
- I miss their nearness and presence, having them with me most of the time. Sharing love, laughter and creating memories together. x Kerrie
- All the ‘firsts’ and the delight that ensues – such as: food finding their mouths “all by themselves”, when the training wheels come off. Also that smile when they wake up, fat knees and dimples in knuckles, the joy when daddy comes home, the look on their face when you encourage them “you can do it!”. The feeling they give you that you are their entire world. Their little giggling voice. I could write for days! x Tracey
- The squishiness of them. The fact they used my body like a climbing gym, the adorable innocence, the cute comments they made, their earnestness about nothing remotely important, the fact they felt like gorgeous little sacks of flour. They hadn’t yet forgotten that sense of wonder and awe, like the way they gazed with saucer eyes at my magical stories….and I could go on….. x Margie
- I miss the sound of giggling when they awoke to a new day (usually very early in the morning). When both boys were still sleeping in their cots, we would often go in the morning to find them laughing. It was such a beautiful sound. I miss being able to take them for a walk in the pram up to the shops (I walk our dog to the shops now!). I miss seeing the look on their faces when Dad would get home from work, and the way our eldest boy would pounce on him and say,” Dad! Quick come here I have to show you this right now!” I miss the enthusiastic willingness to help. I miss them coming in to bed with us in the morning. Even though I remember they were extremely wriggly and would NEVER lie still. I miss my youngest boy’s constant smiling face. When he was about 6 months old he just smiled all day – he was content and very peaceful. I miss the hugs and kisses and the “I love you mummy” moments. I miss all the toys that went to bed with them each night – one had “puppy” and his blankie, the other had his soccer pillow and when he was two years old went to bed with 3 dummies – one in his mouth, and one in each hand. x Sandy
- The sense and wonder in every day and every activity. Bedtime prayers, cuddles and the stroking of cherub faces. Little arms that wrap around my neck as a little voice whispers, “I love you mummy. You’re the best mummy in the whole world”. Batman, Superman and teddy bear tea parties. Silly songs and make-believe games. Early morning family cuddles in bed. School photos where the photographer combs my child’s hair in a way that makes them look strange and somehow not mine, but I buy it anyway. Artwork and handmade gifts that mean so much more than anything expensive I would ever buy. That’s off the top of my head – sorry if you just wanted one thing! x Monica
- Watching them have fun in the bath together, putting bubbles on their faces pretending to be santa. Wrapping the towel around them and giving them a cuddle. Just having them around! x Jane
And for me – wow I think all of the above. I cried when I read what my friends sent me. I really do miss when I used to pick them up and their little head nestled in the crook of my neck and their legs wrapped around my waist. One time one of my kids said – mum you don’t have to cuddle me so much anymore. I tried to explain it this way – I said “look at that photo of me and you when you were 4. Now this is how it is……do I look like I’ve change at all compared to you? No I haven’t changed I’m still that person in the photo and I still need to have cuddles”. She got the message and I’m pleased to say I get a cuddle whenever I want (I know it drives them crazy but who cares!).
I hope at the end of the day and you are totally worn out – you can reflect on your day and the absolute joy and privilege of being a mum (or dad)!
Have a terrific weekend.
Love Chris ♥