Friday, November 8, 2013

Blink

In a moment, my kids are firmly ensconced in tweendom, one with his foot caught in the door of teendom.

Soon they will be high school graduates, then college students, then young marrieds, then parents, then senior citizens.

I’m not being dramatic.  This is how fast the time goes.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to see many of the people that make up my history: parents and brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, family friends.  It’s funny how a funeral can be so sorrowful yet so comforting at the same time.  It felt like a holiday during any of the past thirty years, except there was a casket and everybody was crying.

When we came home and I looked at the pictures, I saw my own girl’s face smiling back at me.  There I was wearing white tights at Christmas time, sitting next to Granddad.  There I was at ten, twenty, thirty, forty.

The time is gone, yet I feel the same as I did in this picture taken ten years ago.  My babies are almost looking me in the eye today, and there they are sleeping in our arms.  It went by so fast.  I talk to my mom on the phone and it’s like when I finished school and began life and we started talking every day.  It could be the day we bought our first house, the first day I was alone with my new baby, the day I quit my job, the day I made spaghetti for dinner.

My life is a cliché.  Everyone from here to there says it – you blink and they’re gone.  “They” are children, grandparents, years, hours, minutes.  Seconds.  I get it.  I’m living it.  I say it.

I miss my babies.  I miss the simple tasks of the day with them.  I miss bathing them, feeding them, strapping them into the car seat.  There was no juggling of schedules and calendars, no fitting all the puzzle pieces in.  There were naps, and chicken nuggets, and diaper bags.

There were nighttime rituals.  There were snacks every night and 8:00 bed times.

Last night, I kissed my son goodnight and because I’m a silly thing who is over my head in nostalgia these days, I rubbed my nose against his just because it was what I did when he was little.

His surprised smile, a rarity these days, told me that he remembered.

Never underestimate the power that an Eskimo kiss has on a t(w)een boy.  Or the wonders it can do for his mom’s homesick soul.




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38 comments:

  1. This post is a great reminder for me to truly cherish the days I have with my boys now, at 4 years and 18 months. Le sigh.

    Your kids are so adorable.

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    1. Thanks, Alison. I love all the stages of childhood so far. I just wish they lasted longer. Eighteen years is NOTHING and not enough time.

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  2. And just like that an Eskimo kiss brought me to tears this morning. So sweet. My oldest whispered, not facing me, if I'd sing the song I used to sing to her recently. I damn near fell off the bed in surprise and joy that she remembered (and still wants).

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    1. That is so sweet. It shows how much we underestimate how much we impact our kids' lives, and how big of a role we play in their memories.

      I used to get so frustrated with my mom when I'd tell her about something that was so important to me and she didn't remember it. Now I do the same to my kids.

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  3. This is so beautiful, Andrea. We do Eskimo kisses, too!
    I was just talking to my husband about how our daughter has two years left in High School and then... what? I can't even wrap my head around it. xo

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    1. Thank you Kerstin!

      Yes... then what? What happens when they leave us?

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  4. I am really starting to feel this, even though mine are just 5, 5, and 3. We were in the backyard the other day and I just missed seeing their pudgy little 2 year old selves toddling around in the grass, mispronouncing flower and tree. It sucks that we almost can't appreciate it when it's happening.

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    1. Yes! It really does suck. I can appreciate them now as I'm older and have built up a level of tolerance and patience with my kids that I didn't have when they were little. Of course, I'd like those years back so I could get it right the first time around. :)

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  5. It's true. Everything you say is true, true, true... And Eskimo kisses rock. I think I will go give a few right now... ;)

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  6. This got me. It is so true, it goes so fast. My boys are 9 and 4 and we are leaving the little behind. And as much as I embrace the new stages to come, I will miss it.

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    1. I still try to do the things I used to when they were little - make their lunches, put their clothes away - but they totally take advantage of me, and I hate that. It was simpler when I had to do it all for them.

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  7. Awww yes this post...so true...thank you for sharing this. My son will turn 7 soon and I can't believe how fast time really does flies and how all we have is today. Your children are so beautiful and YES eskimo kisses rock!

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    1. Thank you so much, Maureen. "All we have is today" - I love that. It reminds me that I need to appreciate it right now. :)

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  8. I try so hard to imprint every second in my brain...I often think to myself "when did this baby turn in to a kid? a little girl?" Would love to put on the brakes.

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    1. Put on the brakes... even if only for a moment. :)

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  9. awwww. I believe it. It's so true. Blink blink blink. I feel like time sped up the second mitchell and I got married. eight years have gone by? You could tell me three or you could tell me fifteen. It all feels the same. My oldest is in first grade but I know soon enough I'll be looking him eye to eye and sighing and saying Oh, I remember when you were just in first grade. Time, you so crazy.

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    1. LOL Sarah! It is so true, though - I remember my kids as they were in that picture above like it was yesterday, but the details are fading. I didn't remember those cups they were holding (even though I did remember that they were drinking Shirley Temples, and neither one of them finished, how I was annoyed that I had wasted the cherry juice), nor either one of their shirts. My son wears a size 11.5 men's shoe now.

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  10. Sigh. Sigh sigh sigh. I'm in the thick of the Little littleness...and I want it to last forever. But I know it can't.

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    1. That little littleness - it was so sweet. Such a sweet time. I loved it, but how I wished on occasion that they'd be older. I know better than to wish that now.

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  11. Love your blogs Andrea!! I too wonder where the heck all of these years are going/went??? My babies as you know are also 10 & 12!! Crazy!! I had to go through Aiden's baby pictures a couple of weeks ago for his religion class and of course there is no let me just grab a couple real quick...nope I had to sit there for an hour staring at each one smiling & feeling sad at the same time!! I miss when they were just babies I really do!! I actually grab some pictures out of both boys sat at the computer ....scanned the pictures into Shutterfly on line and made an ipad cover with my Babies pictures all over the front!! Just came in the mail!! I love it!! And I get to stare at their Beautiful, sweet, innocent baby faces all of the time now!!! I know exactly how you feel!! I am sorry for your loss too!!!!

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    1. They go so fast, don't they? I lose myself in the pictures, too. Thanks, Gloria. I want to see your iPad cover! :)

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  12. All those cliches are cliches for a reason - they are true, at least on some level. Sometimes I see a long leg peeking out of a blanket, or hear a discussion about something far beyond Mickey Mouse and I wonder where my babies have gone, too. But they're still there, aren't they? And they remember eskimo kisses down deep, where it really counts.

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    1. I like to say "It wouldn't be a cliche if it weren't true." And you're so right about the babies still being here. I have to remember that.

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  13. Beautiful, Andrea! My husband and I were just talking last night about how time is truly flying by and how big the kiddos are getting. I can't wait to see what's ahead for them and, at the same time, I want to make time stand still.
    Great post, my friend!!

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    1. Thank you Susan! I love seeing each new stage of my kids' lives, but I can't help being wistful sometimes. It's nice to know that nearly all of us feel the same way - it's comforting.

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  14. Andrea, I had a bad mom day yesterday, not my best work. This post brought tears to my eyes. A good reminder to cherish each day as they go too fast. Thanks for the sweetly written reminder!

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    1. Thanks, Rach. I have a bad mom day every other day. I blame the children. Until I get nostalgic again and remember that these days go so quickly. xo

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  15. Oh, this hit me right in the heart.

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    1. It's their sweet little faces, isn't it? Or maybe that's just me. Either way, it's so EMOTIONAL.

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  16. Tears in my eyes. This was beautiful.

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad to have some fellow tenderhearts to sob with. :)

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  17. Oh my heart. My oldest is 18 but my younger ones are 6, 6 and 4 and I want them to slow down. I'm already crazy enough to miss the rear-facing carseat and taking a shower with a bouncy seat in the bathroom.

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    1. Oh, I know. I will serve my kids macaroni and cheese not because they need me to, but because I need to.

      Thanks for reading!

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  18. I found you via the BlogHer post and have spent the better part of my morning getting lost in your words. I've loved every one, but this one is my favorite. I feel the exact same way. My oldest is a Junior in high school. Soon we will be touring colleges and planning for his future. It feels like last week I spent my nights rocking him to sleep and washing his favorite blanket during naptime.

    Where does the time go?

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    1. Hi Natalie, Thank you so much for reading and for such kind words about my blog. It truly touched my heart and you made my day. :)

      The time. It goes so fast. Everyone says it; why don't we realize it before it happens? Enjoy your time with your oldest. I know you will. xoxo

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