It will go SO fast…

June 11, 2007

So, here I stand on the brink of another summer vacation with my kids. And I have to say, honestly, that in general, these things do get better with age (theirs, not mine so much).

As any stay-at-home mother with school age kids knows, summertime presents a bag of mixed blessings. Long languid afternoons at the pool splashing with my three dolphin-like swimmers. Deliciously later mornings when no one gets out of pajamas until noon. All day zoo trips and cooler evenings at the park where the request for “one more slide before we go” can be heeded because bedtime can always be pushed back just a little.  All my kids are ready for a break from the intensity of our school year schedule.

I loved just about every moment with my kids last summer. Now, at the ages of 9 and almost 7, they seem so much more mobile and self-sufficient. We’re well past the days of cribs and potty-training, but we have not yet arrived at teenage pouts and tantrums and battles over the car.

I’ve heard a lot of parents of grown children say that these years are something of a sweet spot in rearing kids. And I’m inclined to agree. Don’t get me wrong — the baby and toddler years had their moments. But as a friend of mine with triplets (now nine) said Friday night: There’s so much of those years I really can’t remember. I don’t know if it was having 3 kids in such quick succession (kind of a feat for Tim and me — who thought we were infertile!), but the first 5 years passed in a haze of exhaustion. I think it’s why I enjoy my friends’ little ones so much — I can relive, vicariously, those busy and challenging years. I can remember the lurching Frankenstein gait of the 1 year old and the sweet, sometimes questionably coherent, babbles of the 2 year old.

Yeah, I won’t have minute one to myself this summer, and in a way, that’s a tough pill to swallow. But one thing I can say at this point of parenting that I truly didn’t believe when my kids were tiny: It will go SO fast. Something about having kids in school and various activities makes time move at warp speed. Ten years ago, I was just about to find out that I was pregnant with Abby. Ten years from now, that same daughter will have graduated from high school and hopefully be in college!

I want to live in this moment, right now, with my kids this summer. I want to swim with them and play with them and just hang out with them.  It’s a privilege (and sure, sometimes a burden) I won’t always have.


3 Responses to “It will go SO fast…”

  1. Amanda Anderson said

    I don’t know if you are familiar with Dar Williams, but she has this song about kids:

    Time it was I had a dream
    And you’re that dream come true.
    If I had the world to give
    I’d give it all to you.
    I’ll take you to the mountains,
    I will take you to the sea.
    I’ll show you how this life became a miracle to me.

    You’ll fly away, but take my hand until that day.
    So when they ask how far love goes
    When my job’s done you’ll be the one who knows.

    All the things you treasure most
    will be the hardest won.
    I will watch you struggle long
    before the answers come.
    But I won’t make it harder,
    I’ll be there to cheer you on.
    I’ll shine the light that guides you down
    The road you’re walking on.

    Before the mountains call to you,
    before you leave this home,
    Wanna teach your heart to trust
    As I will teach my own.
    But sometimes I will ask the moon
    Where it shined upon you last
    And shake my head and laugh and say
    It all went by so fast.

    That last line was what reminded me of this song 🙂 I’m sure you would love it, the first time I heard it Erica had just had Emma, and it was so sweet watching Erica listen to it at the concert with tears in her eyes.

    anyways, yeah, awesome song. Really long comment.


  2. Liz said

    I enjoyed getting to talk with you and your husband on Saturday. I hope that you all have a blessed summer.

  3. Beth said

    Amanda — what a gorgeous song. Thanks for that. It really captures how I feel.

    Liz — great talking to you this weekend too. I’ll pray for a blessed summer for you, as well.

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