My son lost his first tooth. I think it is too early. He is six. I think it is too soon for him to be losing teeth. What next? University? A girlfriend? Marriage? It’s just going too fast. Make it stop.
Mothering is a weird thing. Some days I am so happy that they are grown, that they can wipe their own bums, sleep through the night, fetch my slippers and BE QUIET when I tell them to. But on the contrary, I feel this sadness that they are growing so fast. There’s a part of me that misses the sleepless nights, the endless stream of dirty diapers and the utter dependence that my babies had on me. I looked at my children’s bodies the other day; there are hardly any signs of babyhood left. Their bodies are lean, there are no dimples on their thighs and no pudginess left to squeeze. I remember a time when their arms couldn’t reach around my neck to hug me, but these days they almost strangle me with their gangly limbs wrapped twice around my neck.
I don’t know how much time I have left for them to fit onto my lap. Already it’s getting awkward because it’s all arms, legs and poky bum bones and I’m like WHEN DID YOU GET SO BIG? I do know that I’ll keep them right here on my lap for as long as they will let me.
I love that we can still cuddle.
There are many moments in my parenting future that I am dreading… puberty, boyfriends and girlfriends, school projects, slamming doors and ALL that. But one moment which will truly break my heart is when the cuddling stops. And I KNOW it will happen, that’s the cycle of life, it’s a normal progression, I get that. But man, it will hurt. I still hug and kiss my own parents but I know that if I tried to sit on my mother’s lap I would most likely render her injured, ha. But I wonder if she misses it? I need to ask her that. Does the growing up part get easier? I know that each stage comes with wonderful things, I can’t wait to have a teenage daughter – shopping together, going for spa days, getting her to colour my greys and ogling over movie stars… I look forward to those times. As I do with my son… I look forward to fostering a relationship where he’ll talk to me about stuff, I pray every day that my boy and I will be able to talk about STUFF. That he’ll feel safe talking to me about STUFF. All sorts of STUFF. And hanging out together, playing Xbox or Playstation or whatever is cool for teenage boys in 2022.
But for the moment I do hope that time will stand still, I wish that these babies of mine would stay just that for a moment longer. When you’re in the throes of new parenting and it’s difficult, older moms will often say “don’t wish this time away, they grow so quickly” and at that moment you don’t get it because it’s just so hard and you want it to be over, you just want to sleep a full night’s sleep or get through a day where you can shower and pee in peace. But it’s true. Enjoy every moment, even the extremely awful moments of colic and teething woes, because time is the one commodity we cannot buy. Blink, and you may miss it.