Monday, April 22, 2013

Had I But Known How Fast They Grow Out of Childish Things



Guest Post by: Kristi Hanson

It’s zero hour. Guests are arriving at any moment. You’ve been cooking and cleaning for what seems like days. Your chest squeezes tight as you try to attain a Pintrest worthy table setting and you pray that this year’s family portrait doesn’t end up on Awkward Family Photos. The doorbell rings and screams suddenly erupt from the living room where your three kids are having a meltdown over whose turn it is with the television remote, or someone took their spot on the couch. You find yourself in tears thinking something like, “I can’t wait until they grow up.” Or, maybe that’s just me.

The other day, I sat across the table from a high school counselor who was tapping my oldest son’s schedule for next year into her computer. I looked over at this boy, who is now over six feet tall, his face has thinned and become angular with a few whiskers sprouting from his chin, and I think, “where did it go?”

This is the same boy who used to pretend to be Scooby-Doo and would sit on my lap watching Dora the Explorer while I worked. He had a cute little lisp and would say, “Whiper,” instead of “Swiper”. I knew then that he wouldn’t stay small forever. But slowly, I let the day to day tasks wheedle their way in-between us and I lost track.

Two siblings later and a full-time job just compounded things. There were times when I thought that one more minute of hearing the theme song from Bob the Builder would make me puke. I thought I’d never emerge from being elbow deep in the trenches of diapers, strollers, and cheerios. Now, I look back and wish that I could pull them close and smell the baby shampoo in their hair, or hear their baby giggles, or watch their eyes go wide in amazement at everything.

Last Christmas my youngest son, at age eight, announced that he wouldn’t be sitting on Santa’s lap. I thought, there goes another one. Another milestone that symbolizes less child and more grown-up. I was heartbroken to see that part of my kids childhood be over. But, isn’t that what I wanted? Isn’t that what I go to in times of stress, thinking that if they just got bigger and acted more grown-up that everything would be easier?

It seems that Old Father Time is pulling the rug out from under me. The older they get, the more I realize how fast it’s passing. James 4:14 says, “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” People told me to cherish every moment because kids grow up too fast, but in the thick of things I wasn’t willing to stop and soak in those moments.

Had I but known how fast they would grow out of childish things, I would have worried less about clean houses, schedules and perfect photos. I would have sat through one more episode of Sesame Street and read just one more story.  Knowing this now, when I catch myself thinking, “It will be so nice when he can drive himself to swim practice,” I stop and realize that I have twenty minutes with him all to myself. To talk about his favorite band, to laugh, to retell stories of the day.  The daily tasks, jobs, and homework have to get done, but when you put it into perspective, it can wait, growing up doesn’t.  


This beautiful post is written by Kristi Hanson. Writer, mother, and wife are just a few of the titles she goes by. She currently resides in Alaska and is the lovely hostess of the blog The Winged Pen. Thank you, Kristi, for your willingness to contribute and for having the courage to be my very first guest blogger!



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8 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more, Kristi. I was so busy as a young mother, I didn't know that time with my kids would go away and never come back. So, now, life stops while I enjoy my grandkids' little hands throwing cheerios all over the floor. That time will go away so quickly, too.
    Thank you for going first in Anna's blog series. I enjoyed the post. :)

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    1. Thank you very much! I still have a few years left and I'm trying to take it all in. I hope you're able to enjoy your grandkids.

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  2. Kristi, this is so beautiful! Full of tenderness and love and longing, you capture and describe what it means to be a parent with such poignancy that I felt goosebumps reading it. You've set a high bar for the series. very well done!

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    1. Thank you so much Liza! You are very sweet.

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  3. Such a beautiful post, Kristi! I don't have children but Carter and I had the moment this weekend where we realized our sweet labradoodle was going to be 3 this year. And then we argued about how that couldn't possibly be correct because she's still such a baby. But 3 she will be. And then I started bawling and insisting that we forbid her from getting hip dysplasia so she can live forever. Because I'm irrational at best.

    But this was lovely, Kristi. And when I do have babies, I'll remember it. :-)

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    1. Thank you Kate! You are so funny, and I totally understand not wanting your "fur kids" to grow up either.

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  5. Sorry it took me so long to read it! I was too caught up in the day to day which is precisely why I had tears in my eyes as I was reading. This is truly beautifully written and so poignant. I catch myself thinking similar things with my daughter, but then I realize just how fast time has flown. Thanks for putting life back in perspective for me!

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