When my oldest child was born, just over 6 years ago, everywhere I went I could count on one thing: People would look at us, smile, and say, “They grow up so fast.” I knew it was true and tried my best to remind myself each time I heard it that I needed to cherish every day I had with my little one.
Along came two more children and, with each baby, those words grew more hollow in my ears. “I know they grow up!” I wanted to shout. “I can’t wait until they grow up!” Being a busy mom of three young children, I was becoming eager for the time when they would be independent. I longed for the day when I didn't have to dress one child from head to toe while struggling to zip another child’s coat while putting shoes on the third.
Last fall, we were walking home from the bus stop and the kids were all running down our country lane. It was one of my favorite times of the day, when everyone is happy to be reunited again. My two preschoolers
are so glad to see their 6-year-old sister, and she is happy to have uninterrupted playtime. On that particular day, I was struck by that phrase, which I still manage to hear now and again: “They grow up so fast!”
I watched my daughter, who is such a little lady at times, skipping from bush to bush, picking “flowers” and enjoying being herself and free from the rigidity of school. I wanted to grab her up and tell her that she must not leave this moment – this perfect moment of childhood.
It is a rare gift to be able to see a life grow from birth and know that the present is what matters most. I know my children are growing up fast, but I resolve to cherish these bustling years that are moving us forward
to a day when they will no long rely upon me. I am fully aware that I, too, will one day look at a family with young children and remember back to a time when the best years of my life were the ones that went by much too fast.