Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Growing Pains

"The pain associated with the fact that your kids are growing up too fast." a.k.a.

In my past life (the one I had before I became a Mommy) I worked with senior adults.  I did it all!  From hands on care giving of the senior that had lost the ability to care for herself at all- to the directing of activities for the active senior that no longer wanted (or could) live alone.

My favorite part of Senior Adult Care had to have been when I was an Activities Director for an assisted living facility.  I basically 'hung out' with wise men and women in my day to day.  We went to lunch.  We played Bingo.  I gave them manicures and pedicures, and I sat on the side of their beds when the were too depressed to leave their room.

In my (short few) years in that particular career; I never.... NOT ONCE.. heard anyone say
"If I had to do it all over again I'd: have worked harder on my career; made more money; bought a bigger house; had more 'stuff'..."

To the contrary- it was opposite: "I shouldn't have spent so much time working; I never needed that big house...."

What I heard every time a regret was mentioned always had to do with family.    "I wish I'd have been closer to my family." or "I wish I had spent more time with my kids."

Have you ever noticed how a young child can usually turn the face of a sour old grump into a soft, sweet smile?  Isn't in interesting that most older/senior adults coddle and coo and swoon over babies, toddlers, and small children?

Why is it that Grandparents often say "The reward of being a parent is getting to be a grandparent?"

I have no degree to prove my theory- but I believe it has to do with the fact that most of 'us' parents are flying through life- just trying to make ends meet and keep the gray hair growth at a minimum during the years we are raising our kids.

I realized tonight- through a soggy face full of tears and a throat that couldn't quit hiccuping- that the first 2 years of (each) of my (3) children's life seem to have gone by with out my noticing it.  My oldest- I can remember the most.  It was the most emotionally charged!  We had no idea what we were doing.  Everything was scary, and amazing all in the same breath.

When my middle daughter came along 2 years and 2 months later- it was easy.  We considered infancy a piece of CAKE (compared to numero uno).  In looking back at photographs, I can honestly say that I don't have very much recollection of her time as a baby or a toddler.  It disappeared.  I only have pictures to prove that we went through the infant stage on up to the 2 year old stage with her.

And here I sit.  My 6 year old daughter  is snoozing in the bed below my 4 year old daughter while my 2 year old baby girl quietly snores in her crib.   My children are still young, aren't they?  They are.  So what am I going on about?!?!

I'll tell ya!!!

I missed a part of my children's life!  I missed out!!

Stress.  Financial struggles.  Marriage woes.  Life's "stuff" tricked me into robbing myself of the precious time I could have spent savoring my children's stepping stones.

I keep coming back to this.  Every year.  Every single year I find myself chastising (myself) for not slowing down.

Slow down, Amber.  SLOW DOWN!!!

Wisdom has already been past down to me.  "Savor your family.  Spend more time loving and getting to know your children."

Everything else the world has to offer is secondary.  An 'old' lady will confirm this truth!


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