When I was a young child I remember hearing grown-ups talk about time slipping through their hands and how time flies. I didn’t understand what they meant and how time could actually fly. Part of the beauty and innocence of being a child is their carefree ways and simply living for the moment. That was me as a child and I remember it well.
As I approached my wonderful teenage years my parents actually held on tight not wanting to let me grow up and venture out. You would think with all the hell I raised that they would have my bags packed and ready to go. Not my parents. They were enjoying and holding on to every single minute with their young daughter before letting her go. Of course, I did not understand this at the time, how could I, I was a young, rebellious woman, still carefree and ready to adventure out into the world. I did not see that my parents were still clinging to sweet memories of me as a child, their only daughter, and that they loved me.
Years have passed and time moves on as expected. I got married, as my parents prayed that I would, and now have a family of my own. From the time I held my first born son in my arms I started to realize what my parents were feeling. Even though my precious baby was just minutes into this world I couldn’t bear the thought of him growing up and leaving me. Silly, I know, to be having such thoughts when your child is all wrinkly and new, but now as a parent, those thoughts were real.
When my son Tony was seven we lived in a small, friendly neighborhood that we were very comfortable in. He wanted to show his three younger brothers how grown up he really was, mind you, he was all of seven years old. He called us all outside to watch his dare devil event. He was going to ride his two-wheeler down the street and back. Not just in circles in front of our home, but down the street! How adorable. How innocent.
This same child, only three years later, wanted to drive his father’s pick-up truck. Seriously. We would find him out in the driveway in the driver’s seat ready to go. Minus the car keys obviously. How could this be happening to me? My baby is growing up. He wants to grow up. I realize
how time is passing so quickly and not only are my children growing up but that I am getting older. Could this be a good thing? I try not to think about it but as I see my children wanting to experiment with riding their bikes further away from their homes and jumping in to their father’s truck and getting behind the wheel pretending to be driving away, I can feel that I ‘m starting to hold on a bit tighter. I have become my parents.
Now my baby, Tony, is sixteen years old, a junior in high school, actually driving his father’s pick-up truck with the keys. He’s even been dating the same girl for over a year. I feel so old. Wasn’t I just sixteen, ready to conquer the world? Time’s flying.
My son Nick, who is fifteen, is taking Drivers Ed class at school. My God, not another child ready to drive away in his father’s truck!
My son Phillip who just turned twelve is starting to get phone calls from girls. Yikes! Not my innocent, sweet Phillip. He is still just a little boy. My little boy. I don’t want him to grow up. We had a conversation the other day and it went something like this.
I was at my desk working at my computer and he entered the room.
“Hey, Mom. Do you think I could go on your computer in a few minutes?” he asked while shuffling his feet and looking down.
“Sure. What’s up?” I asked.
“Well, Katie and Olivia are going to be on IM and we’re going to chat.” He replied blushing three shades of red.
My grip is getting tighter. With each day I can feel it. I know I should be a cool, hip and groovy Mom, but it’s just not that easy. What am I going to do after my children are all grown up and out of the home? I’m not saying that my husband is a bore or my life is dull, it’s just that I’m used to picking up legos and matchbox race cars. I’m used to making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cutting them in half, and I’m definitely in the habit of tucking my children into bed at night and telling them how much I love them.
My youngest son, Joseph, who just had a birthday a few weeks ago and is nine years old, came to me yesterday and matter-of-factly stated that he is going to be a professional basketball player in the NBA. I don’t doubt it as this child was born with a basketball in his hands. I couldn’t help but smile and give him a great big hug. He didn’t want to be hugged.
He pulled away from me and asked, “Mom, NBA basketball players don’t hug their moms do they?”
I took him in my arms and replied, “Yes, Joseph, they most certainly do.”
I’m still holding on today.
photo credit: pizzodisevo