I fear what will materialize with perfect clarity as a lie on my deathbed. I wonder how I’ll reflect on the 36th year of life.
The next and the next.
I don’t mean to me morbid. It’s not morbid. Morbid is wasting the one fucking chance we have at life. That’s just my belief, of course. Maybe we get a repeat. That’d be cool, but I’m not willing to risk it.
It usually takes years for my mind to change, but once it does, it feels sudden, jarring. Like a loud knock on a door I never knew existed.
I look over to see who it is and it’s a new truth sitting there like nothing ever happened. Like she’s always been there, chillin’, waiting for me to notice her.
I guess it’s just “getting older” and that’s that. I guess the pack of experiences grows deeper and wider and weirder and we have no choice but to see the world differently and it’s not strange or even interesting.
Except, well, it is.
A couple weeks ago, on the bi-annual date taken WHETHER WE NEED IT OR NOT, Mac and I struck up a conversation with a couple who was just like us: married, with kids, on a date.
Only they were about 60.
They gave us that familiar “I remember those days” look as we told them about our 4 young kids.
The couple was lovely. I liked them.
As they got up to leave while we were finishing our avocado chocolate mousse (which I am normally opposed to on principle because keep your fucking HEALTH FOOD OUT OF MY DESSERT THANKS, but this was delicious), the man looked at me and said: “It goes so fast. Hold onto this.”
I didn’t need to tell you that. You already knew that. You knew he said that because it’s the thing every older parent has said to every younger parent since the dawn of humanity.
I waited for my internal eye roll. The irritation. The IF IT GOES SO FAST WHY ARE THEY STILL HERE feeling. I waited for the old familiar Smile-And-Nod-out-of-politeness.
But it never came.
Instead I saw a flash of sadness in his eyes and knew it as my own. The pain in his voice that might as well have been mine. I felt commiseration. I felt the same. I felt life racing by my head again and powerless and a little stripped.
Later I thought “Well shit, I guess I’ve been around long enough now to see the ‘other side.'” Their side.
Then I banished the thought immediately because I AM TOO YOUNG FOR THIS SHIT.
The pain, though, is merely a flash buried beneath a pile of gratefulness for the passing of time, that they’re all still here, that we’re still here to watch them be here.
But it’s there now. And it wasn’t before. Even when I started this blog it wasn’t there. I used to write about dropping my kids off at school and daycare and wanting to scream “FREEEEEEEDOMMMMMMMM!!!!” out the window. I only felt relief. Now I feel more.
There were so many years more to come. There were more kids to come. There was the possibility of more kids to come.
Last June, I had my last baby. In November my first baby turns 14.
I thought when I was 22 and had my first child that 18 years might as well be 90 years because it’s so many years. Shit, it was almost the number of years I had been on earth.
She was young. I was young. We were all young.
What I didn’t realize is that it isn’t the kid LEAVING that filets your heart, it’s the CHANGING and transition from little kid right here playing, to kid at arm’s reach, to kid in carpool without you, to beyond and beyond and that one day you realize that the movement is away, always, as it should be, but always away, and the closeness clarity and simplicity of the early years are over so fast it might as well be 90 days. 90 minutes. 90 fucking seconds.
When you talk about this with people they’ll sometimes say “Oh, well, I enjoyed EVERY phase and never got upset about my kids growing up.”
Well, you clearly love your kids more dearly than I do. Let me run out and make you a cookie with my bare hands and adoration.
My point is not that new stages are not wonderful and exciting and dynamic and joyful. Can I tell how rad it is to sit down and have an intelligent, sarcastic banter with my tween? Or how amazing it feels to (legally, ahem) leave her with a sibling or two while I go to the freaking store? My oldest child feels like a dear friend now, sometimes. We laugh and laugh. It’s everything. It’s more than I ever could have imagined.
My point is that the wild abandon of your little one playing in the sand on a beach will not last forever and I, at least, feel a twinge of pain to know that stage has passed.
It’s the first time they refuse to hug you in the car before school.
It’s the first time you realize they’ve sat with you chatting on the blanket rather than played in the surf.
The first time they prefer their room, over you, to talk with friends.
The first time you realize they’re too big for this or that or the other thing and they’re in reality now rather than imaginary land.
The first time you realize that in less than 5 years your kid will be “full grown” (hahaha).
And in a little over 2 years she’ll be driving.
I don’t know when it happened, and it doesn’t feel like me, but every morning when I get Arlo out of his carseat to drop him off at the babysitter’s I damn near cry. Or I do cry. Not weeping. Just a tear or two.
He puts his head on my shoulder as if he knows.
I don’t know where the pain came from. I can’t even make sense of it. Because he’s my last? Because it’s too much time away? Because I’m old? Because I’m a sap now?
Maybe I’m just tired. Worn out? Depressed? Hormonal? Maybe it doesn’t feel worth it anymore. The time away.
Ah, fuck it.
Is this why they say that stuff about “wiser?” I sure hope not. I’m not wise. I’m just 14 years into parenthood and feeling the weight of my baby’s face on my shoulder and going to work anyway because it has to be done, and part of me wants to go, though in this second it seems I’d give anything to get back in the car and drive away with him.
Is this it? Is this what the “old people” are talking about?
My family right now feels so complete. Nobody can ever leave. It’s the six of us. It’s perfection. It’s whole and contained and just right. Soon one will leave, then the next and the next.
It will change. It will get better. It will get worse.
It will just get new.
But this day, this one won’t come again.
I feel that now, whether or not The Old Annoying People are telling me so.
I pat his back and kiss his little head, pass him into the arms of another. I wonder if she sees my tears.
I get in the car, drive away, and write to you. I’m not sure I know what else to do, today.
KerryTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 14:28
Yes. This. And trying not to feel guilty about every moment that I hate being a parent; every time I’m a crappy mom. Because every time I’m less than they deserve, the sad “they’re growing so fast!” pains get worse and worse because it’s exactly as you said – you can’t ever get that moment back. But I’m old and wise enough to know that you can’t be perfect either. So much grace, forgiveness and awareness. Thank heavens I had these little people because they’ve stretched me in every possible way.
DTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 14:29
Everyone said when we went to see Inside Out that we’d cry over Bing-Bong. True, but what had me sobbing buckets in the theater was Joy sitting and reflecting over memories of Riley as a small child, and how Joy could have listened to her little stories–now forgotten and left in the past–forever. And at that moment, my three-year-old put her head on my arm and I felt everything you articulated in this post hitting me square in the chest. I just had my own last baby, and I’m doing everything I can to live in the moment and not wish it away.
Neena HanchettTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 14:57
Very poignant. I can assure you that time is fleeting. There was a popular song when I was a young adult (not almost 64 years old, which I am now) I don’t remember the name, but one of the lyrics (I’m paraphrasing) “Turn around, turn around, turn around and you’re grown.” Time passes way too quickly. Take it from your step-mom.I love you!
renegademamaTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 18:43
I love you too, Neena. Seems like yesterday we were hanging out at the Boardwalk! xoxo
Angelique SteelgraveTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 15:05
Lovely as always….and the photo…it’s the Pumpkin Patch! <3
MichaelTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 15:09
I’m so glad I found this site. I love that it’s full of honesty and love. Thanks for what you do. 🙂
CambriaTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 15:18
You just slaughtered me. Fuck yoga. I need you.
I have a yoga teacher who talks about ‘moving through transitions with grace.’ She’s the smartest teacher I have, but you might have just beat her. So tell THAT to your yoga retreat.
This pain from the change, of not getting moments back, of the finality of our decisions every single freakin day, is what sucks the most for me. But you just illuminated it really, really well, and that makes it feel better.
SarahTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 15:57
Parenting has had wonderful and awful and beautiful and ugly moments, but the only real constant besides love has been loss. Before I had kids, life meant looking forward. Next month, next year, someday. Then I had my first baby, and as soon as he moved up a diaper size there was this inescapable looking back. Every new stage is a gift, and I’m excited to see what the teen years bring now, but the losses grow too. I don’t spend a lot of energy wishing I’d appreciated it all more; I only wish I remembered it all better.
GiaTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 16:21
Well now I’m on the verge of tears too. Because I’m 35, and my kids are 16, 14, 8 & 6. and they are my whole world, and we have good days and we have bad days, but they are our days and my first baby boy will be gone out into the world in less than two years and it feels like I’m holding my breath because I’m afraid that if I blink that 2 years is going to turn into 2 minutes and he’ll be gone, and my babies will be all grown up too. It’s crazy, and exciting and devastating. I want him to go knowing that I taught him to do better than live on boxed wine and ramen, and I don’t want him to go at all, because he’s mine.
Because we’re too young for shit, and we’re all getting old too.
SarahTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 17:23
This post feels like the poignant blog cousin of a sentimental, it-goes-by-so-fast, song getting a lot of play on public radio in my neck of the woods (Nova Scotia, Canada). My favourite line, “we’ve been saving up for date night, so we can have our fight”. Truth! But I hope you didn’t fight on your bi-annual date 🙂
‘The Early Years’ by Old Man Luedecke: http://youtu.be/w8_HsMQ_AQw
KateTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 19:45
What a great song! You’ve introduced me to another fabulous Canadian folksinger! I’ve just sent an amazing hour listening to him on Youtube. Many thanks from Ottawa 🙂
IngaTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 18:26
I just lost it the night before my youngest turned five…sobbing into my husbands arms. It was the very first time I truly felt that a part of my life was over. Baby life of chasing and watching and worrying and how much longer will she want to snuggle in bed with me…this girl who shared my bed for so long as an extension of my own body. That away thing you said… That. Always away. Ahhh. It kills me and makes me proud at the same time. Thanks for this!!!
RoseTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 18:58
Feels. Too many feels ❤️
ErinTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 19:12
I’ve always thought motherhood was a cruel trick. Our one job is to turn the beings we love the most into beings who don’t need us at all. If they are content to survive without us, we have done well. If they find joy separate from us, we have succeeded beyond all expectations. And yet, i wouldn’t change anything (except the puke, I might 86 the puke if I had the opportunity!)
RonitTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 19:33
My oldest is just about 16 and in 11th grade. We have so many moments now where we are friends…we talk about real things, we laugh at the same things, and we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. I still have to be mom and lay down the rules sometimes, but most of the time I am just enjoying the young adult that he has become. And then I realize that in 2 short years he won’t be HERE every day. I am proud of this almost-man who is just about ready to be out there on his own. I’m just not sure that I’m ready to not see him every day. I finally truly understand the “it goes so fast” comments.
KateTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 19:38
Oh, this is so right on. My Mom said that everyone remembers the ‘firsts’ – the first smile, first steps, first day of school, but it is much harder to notice and remember the ‘lasts’ – the last time you breast-fed, the last time you held your baby cradled in your arms, or last time they were on your hip, or the last time they held your hand. I picked up my huge 9 year old yesterday and realized I hadn’t held her in my arms in months, and that I should have noted the ‘last’ time that I did. She’s so big now, yesterday might have been it. 🙁
My youngest is 3 yrs and I drive him wild with all the snuggles and kisses that I require. As my last baby, he’ll just have to put up with it.
Debbie FodorTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 20:05
I always enjoy reading your posts Janelle. I, like you, have 4 children. When they were young I didn’t want them to grow up, but of course they did. Now they are all in their 20s. I live in Australia and here kids do not leave home at 18 to go to college. If kids go to university, most still live at home while they do that. My son is 25 years old. He is still studying at university and has a part-time job. He is good at saving his money and a couple of months ago moved away from home. It is an experiment for him and he may well move home again at the end of semester. I knew this time was coming because he talked about it long before it happened. He is 25, mature, sensible and naturally wants to be independent. I knew it was a good thing for him to do but I still cried as I helped him move. My heart felt like it was broken and I was useless for the next 3 days because I couldn’t stop crying. I could think of plenty of positives about my son moving away from home (and when I say away, he is only a 20 minutes drive from us) and I did not want to cry or ache inside, but I couldn’t stop. I knew that I would adjust, and I have. My son comes over once a week for dinner and we watch a DVD movie together before I drive him home again. (He did not take his car with him because he now lives a 2 minute walk from a train station). I still miss my son, but it does not hurt like it did when he first moved out.
Motherlove sure is a crazy thing.
Independent StreetTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 20:25
Holy shit. That was like a song.
sarahTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 20:28
I’m struggling now too.
I have 3 (19,10,6).
A month ago when my son got on the bus for the first time, ever…I turned away from the other bus stop Moms and “Ugly Cried” so hard.
My hubby works out of state. More often than not, I find myself in their beds….holding them tight. Pretending it’s for their benefit since Daddy isn’t here during the week.
That’s a total Damn lie. In being selfish, it’s for me because this time will not last.
My 6yr old son is always sleeping in my bed too.
And I’ll never put him back in his room. Ever.
LindsayTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 20:28
Nailed it. I have a 19 yr old, 11 yr old, 9 year old, and Baby Atticus (you know that guy!:) and it is SO SURREAL to have those bookends of a legal adult with two tattoos, and a wee fella whose head still smells new. And I remember when my big son, Jack, was this new and scary adventure, and how far we’ve come since then. And I know how fast now those years will go with Atticus. Love this, thank you for writing it.:)
MelevaTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 22:26
so, quit the fuckin’ job. you don’t make that much anyway, right? i know i don’t!
even though, i assume, your writing doesn’t do much to sustain the goddamned household, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t affecting the world.
who cares about money? well, i care about money, but money is a whore, who hates me. the important thing is that you made me cry,
in my similarly fucked up house, with my similarly fabulous family. you made me cry because you’re right and you can say it and it’s not that common, this ability..
i wish i had money to send to you, so that you could just hang out with your youngest.. i don’t. But what i can say, because we’re in the same boat is that your kids hear you. your kids know you. and that’s a big, freaking deal. so many kids live their lives without knowing their mother, but you are right. there. ready to be known.
keep the faith, mama.
i will share your shit with everybody.
LotteTuesday, 6 October, 2015 at 22:34
Beautiful, and something I’ve already been feeling (and getting bummed out by), even though my eldest is still only two.
Thank you for articulating this for me. You Rock.
CathWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 0:31
My three sons are 18, 26 and 27 now. There are still so many things in my life to look forward to, including enjoying the men they’ve become and are becoming. But oh, how I long for a small hand in mine.
charlotte wiseWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 2:15
oh my holy hell. This. Got me right in the gut and worded what my mind has been doing for a long while!! thank you for putting it so…so….so…oooh i don’t even have the words. Ive never been able to explain it to anyone, but you just did!! I’m only in my early stages of children (i hope!), but still in my 30s now and its like a ton of bricks every single day. You are amazing!! Keep writing! you are a lighthouse 🙂 xx
AllieWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 3:19
Yep, my youngest of four just started school and it’s the first time in 13 years I don’t have kids with me all day as I never went back to work. I wept like someone died the first few days. Now I just try to be productive till they finish school. But I’m going to have to find more. Anyway, the good thing about reaching this stage is I value the time with them much more. Instead of begrudging them for the endless requests I feel privileged that they need me so much. And they always will, I have to keep reminding myself of that. So, I’m older and wiser enough to be more patient than I was when I started out.
Ange DWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 3:48
Your words make me cry. Cry for the horrible words I have said just this morning as I try to get my brood of 4 off to school and kinder. Cry for the times of closeness with my 12 year old that now are fewer and far between. Cry for the few real days I have left with my 4 year old before I have to let her out into the world and to school. Cry because I know that that old couple, their words, your words are real.
More than anything, I treasure the moments I can with my angels and I thank you for reminding me again, just how precious these moments are. In the words of Ferris Bueller (master philosopher) “life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around sometimes, you could miss it”.
JennyWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 3:54
As always, you nailed it. Mine are 3 and 7 and I cannot tell you how many times a day I scoop up the little 3 year old (my last) and drink her in, knowing that in another breath or two she’ll be all big and grown. And I have already become the obnoxious older parent telling overwhelmed parents of infants to savor it, it will be gone in a flash!
JamieWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 6:32
I feel this. Which may be shocking because I’m 25 and only have one baby who’s only 2-and-a-half. I spent ten weeks away from him to finish my degree and every time I came home for a weekend visit, he’d learned so many new things without me! I vowed every time I left that I’d be a much better mother; more patient, more snuggly, more devoted and some days I am. But most of the time, I get annoyed and frustrated, I yell, I’m too exhausted by the end of the day to play with him much and by the time he’s in bed I catch myself breathing a sigh of relief and I feel guilty because he’s only going to be this tiny for a little while. My mother is constantly telling me that kids grow up too fast. I find this sort of funny coming from her since I’m 25, my sisters are 15 and 11, and my brother is 2 (two months younger than my son, actually). But seeing how much more affectionate she is with the little one than she is with my sisters and me, I guess maybe she feels it anyway.
JulieWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 6:38
Maybe its our age, i’m also 36 and have 2 little kids. And i already feel like i don’t have time to be in the moment, like the moment is gone before i can take it in… I feel the same sudden sadness your talking about. For me, its like melancholy and i understand it in a different way than before. I used too see it in my father and now i feel it too. But hey, i’ve always been an old soul (i think its a curse). I love the way you make all of us feel less alone, i guess that’s your magic!
ReneeWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 8:48
I am an old mother – 61 to be exact. This feeling is so real that it can send your life into a tailspin after the kids have “all grown up” and left you far behind. However, I have learned that there is a bright spot to your baby’s growing up; GRANDKIDS!!! It is not the same; in some aspects it is better. However, that old mothering feeling pops right back up and you get just enough of a dose to help you make it through the next 20 years! I have also found that the mind, the lap and the arms are willing but the knees and the back are not quite as obliging. There is a reason that we have kids when we are young and stupid not old and wise! Hang in there; you will make it!
Karelle JonesWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 9:06
I had this moment a few weeks ago and I’m still reeling from it. I don’t think I’m ever going to get over the missing their tiny feet or that their breath used to be sweet. I love love love the amazing men they’re growing into, but damn I’d give my right arm to snuggle with them in my lap again.
BeckWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 9:08
I suck at enjoying motherhood. It’s incredibly depressing. It seems to be way more hard moments than savorable ones. Maybe part of it is being a single parent. It feels too hard. And knowing it’s going to go by so fast (my child is 2.5 years old) just makes me feel even worse about it all. It’s not fair.
Michelle BallardThursday, 8 October, 2015 at 1:50
I Can’t imagine how it feels. I think that the fact that it feels depressing and hard for you really shows what a wonderful parent you must be. I thought of my mother when I read your comment. She always seemed a little sad and tired. But we always got a smile, a kiss, and encouragement. Along with all of our basic needs she always made it clear we were loved. I have a feeling you got this. Just as my mom did. It wouldn’t be so hard if you didn’t care so much. Good luck. Keep pushing through. It will all be worth it and your child will know how much you did someday. 🙂
BeckSunday, 11 October, 2015 at 13:32
Thank you so much. I can’t imagine hearing anything more helpful than what you wrote. I’m printing it out and sticking it by my front door so I see it everyday. Thank you so much.
LorieWednesday, 14 October, 2015 at 7:02
Somedays I feel like you do. Who doesn’t? I think there are very few moments when we are entirely happy/satisfied/relaxed – there is always a dinner to cook, a laundry to dry, etc. but it’s the little things, the hugs, the kisses, the little notes when he/she can write, etc. which make you realize how important you are to him/her. Please try to let this make you happy.
LeeThursday, 29 October, 2015 at 22:42
I don’t know if this is helpful. I hope it’s not harmful. But i couldn’t not reply. I also sucked at enjoying motherhood for 3 years. Sometimes i still do. A small part was due to some developmental delays my child had that i was unaware of. But the bigger cause was undiagnosed PPD & depression. For me it manifested in ways i didn’t know signaled depression. I am on meds now when i never thought i would go that path. It’s the very best thing i ever did for myself & my family. I regret that i was unable to enjoy my child those years. It is a loss for both of us, but I’m trying to make up for it.
LarissaWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 11:49
Crying, I’m not sure I can call this crying. More like uncontrollable weeping. With snot too no less…I always love and enjoy your posts. I almost always cry. Thank you for sharing your gift. I have two girls and when I leave them at preschool and day care my heart aches. There is hole I cant figure out how to cover or fill, I just try not to fall into it and get lost. I have to work too. I just want to hold those girls and remember everything about them, and let them go with grace as they grow up and away, but mostly I feel every moment as fleeting and joy and pain all mingled up of motherhood. Thank you for a shared space.
BrandiWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 16:11
I have to say I have also just started to really feel this. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of a baby and a teenager, or the feeling when they really are, for real, pulling away. It hurts. Good luck to you.
MaiaWednesday, 7 October, 2015 at 20:42
I just sent my first born off to college. 800 miles away. I was a stay-at-home mom. My principal responsibility for the last 18 years was to nurture my kids. My heart still feels ripped to pieces. Although I know it was time to let her go, and she seems to be thriving (I couldn’t be happier for that), it’s the biggest heartbreak I have ever endured. I don’t think there is anything that could have changed this, or prevented it. I have to think how lucky I have been to have every moment I had with her. But yeah, life changes.
Michelle BallardThursday, 8 October, 2015 at 1:40
Honestly, it sounds like I wrote this. Not so much the words because I’m not very good with them. But the kids and feelings and what not. I have given these some thought recently and I think, for myself anyway, its a combination. My age, my parents age, the age of my kids. I see time changing things but really it’s the same in a way. I remember when I was young like my kids. My parents were where I’m at. My grandparents (who are no longer with us) were…. Well you get it… I don’t want to think that in 20 years or so I may be missing my parents too.and be my mom’s age. NOOO…. When it comes to my 4 year old I think I’m hanging on for dear life because I have a 15 year old. When she was born I was so excited about raising a child I was always looking ahead, sometimes rushing. I had 4 more kids and seemed to do the same thing. Then I put all 5 on the bus for the first time last month and I was stuck. Stuck standing in the driveway having no clue what to do from that point on. once in a while I look at my 15 year old and I feel sick to my stomach. 1. Because I rushed so much over the last 15 years when I should have taken more time. 2. Because my 4 year old will be 15 before I know it. If I can’t handle the emotional punch I get when putting him on the bus, what am I going to do 11 years from now? Or, God help me, 14 years from now? Well, I’m certainly going to stop myself from rushing through all the good stuff this time.
JennaThursday, 8 October, 2015 at 7:21
Thanks for writing this, for sharing so darn perfectly about the shifts in feeling and experience. I’m maybe not there yet, though I’ve always been a sap of sorts. But man, that line about the playing in the sand and I thought of my boys on vacation and how my husband and I watched boys, only three or four years older than them, walking the beach and checking out girls, and oh my god, I just wanted to freeze them in that time and place this summer. Then they started talking to me about Pokemon and I unfroze the moment, you know.
Thanks for being you.
Heather@hungryforbalanceThursday, 8 October, 2015 at 10:22
I love this more than I can say. My husband and I struggled for a few years to have a baby and now that we have our daughter, I feel like I have to enjoy every moment because it won’t come again. But sometimes there are moments (or hours) of tantrums and tears (from us both) and I just want it to be over. But I know it will be soon and she will go to school and have bigger problems than the nap we disagreed on.
Thanks for posting this.
ChristineThursday, 8 October, 2015 at 15:13
I was your age when I had my first child, a friend of your daughters. I am damn right geriatric. As I head into menopause,as my daughter heads into menses, I marvel at the changes in her and me. That moment when I know, really know I am getting old is now. No answers, just hope, and good luck.
MegFriday, 9 October, 2015 at 18:34
My 36 year old arm holds my 2 month old, while my 3 year old sleeps and my 14 year old hides in her room. I definitely tear up more now than I did with my big kid, and I hold my littlest a little tighter than I did his siblings. I totally feel you.
KarlaSunday, 11 October, 2015 at 18:42
You. Your writing. It has changed me as a mom and as a person. You seem to put into words thoughts that float about in my head and heart. Thank you for your writing. You have a gift, keep sharing.
LorieTuesday, 13 October, 2015 at 2:18
OMG, I am in the exact same spot as you. Well, not exactly: French, living near Paris, only two girls (7 and 4). But totally in the same “nostalgic about the present” phase. I hear more and more about this around me, my neighbour (55-60, Mom of three grown children only one still at home) the other day sent an email to me, telling me they has a great weekend with her husband, but that they were “a bit nostalgic about the time with the children”. It hit me like a train. She sees them all the time, they live nearby, she takes cares about their children sometimes and is a happy grandmother. But there is no longer the “time with the children”, the life with them. I nearly cry these days when I realize the little toys, soon enough, will no longer be there. They’ve been around so long it seems like my whole life, and what will it be after?
And don’t get me wrong, I was one of this “you don’t need kids to be fully happy” and “I’m not even sure I want kids, ever” kind of girls, I studied and travelled a lot and never felt like I could “define myself” by that, being a mother. And yet, realizing that soon enough I will no longer be a Mom of small children makes me feel like someone is dead in the family. Tough. Love your article.
ConstanceTuesday, 13 October, 2015 at 18:35
It’s messy and mean and it sucks and it’s fleeting and beautiful and precious and merciful and sacrifice and everything it’s meant to be.
Janelle – as always, you find the right words for how it goes. I’m eternally grateful. I’ll just stand behind you nodding and saying, “Yeah! What she says!” I wish I’d had a friend like you when the kids were little and I was in the mire thinking there was something wrong with me because it was hard and sucked so bad sometimes, and then all of sudden I’d realize what I gift I’d been given, until it sucked again until I realized what I gift I’d been given.
CarrieThursday, 15 October, 2015 at 6:57
Hug. Sniff. Tear. I just love your writing so much.