I got caught up in one of those Facebook videos…you know the ones. The ones of moms with their kids doing the usual day in and day out. The story books, the cuddles, the kisses, the smiles and cries, the playing, the feeding, etc. Then the words and the sad music reminding us that right now we’re their whole world, but over time, the hugs and kisses will get less, the hand holding will get less, the times they want to be with you will be less, they won’t need you as much and so on and so on.
We all know this. Time stands still for no one. We all were that little once, and now we’re not. And yet, as we watch it unfold before our very own eyes, sometimes it just hits you over the head like a ton of bricks and punches you hard in the heart. Like today. Watching that stupid video while at work, and missing my kids, and I start tearing up.
I have wanted kids for as long as I can remember. In fact, I am pretty confident I can say that I knew I wanted kids when I was as young as 5 years old. And while not everyday is filled with sunshine and roses, my life is so fulfilled just by having my children in it. I told one of them recently, on my birthday, that my life at this age wouldn’t be as special or wonderful without them in it. And I truly mean that. They are my everything. My heart and soul. My life. My being. And I recently realized that once they’re at that point where they don’t need me anymore, I’m going to be utterly crushed. What am I going to be without these little people filling up my world?
I know that many people say you need to find time for yourself. You need to take care of you. You need to not make your kids the centre of your world. Well, I don’t feel like I am burdened. I don’t feel like I need to get away and find time for myself (most days, ok? There are some days that everything just seems to go wrong and they’re filled with kids crying and being demanding). Most days, I’m just perfectly content in the world that is my little family. But it scares me that the one thing I wanted so much in my life, is fleeting. Ok…well…I guess everything is. Every job, hobby, activity…none of it can last forever, for one reason or another.
I just marvel in my children. I am fascinated by how they grow, how they change and develop. I am in awe seeing their little personalities flourish, watching them pick up new skills. They are blank slates when they enter this world and watching them paint their lives fills me with such tremendous joy. I don’t know what I will do without that in my life. I will feel void. Empty. I can’t prepare for it. I saw something online once that said, “nobody tells you that the hardest part of parenting, is watching your kids grow up.”
I look at my own parents. I realize how little time I get to spend one-on-one with them anymore. My siblings are also grown, married, busy with their own lives and careers. Thanks to technology, we all keep in touch regularly through texts, video chat, etc. But I wonder how my parents feel with us grown up. Probably the same feelings I am thinking about right now.
And yet, while the fear of them growing surrounds me, I can’t help but take joy in watching them grow and become their own little people. Parenting is a complex set of conflicting emotions. I don’t think we’ll ever be prepared for anything it brings or how open and vulnerable our hearts become.
What do you think? If you have little ones, do you feel the same? If your kids are grown, how did you cope?