Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kids Aren’t Going to Wait to Grow Up


So many children around me just aren’t children anymore.  My god-daughter just had a baby…her first.  And while I love her because she’s wonderful and I love her mom, I missed her (and her brother’s, who is my god-son) entire childhood.  See, I knew her mom in school…met her in the 7th grade to be exact, and we were close.  So close that in our early 40’s (gasp) we still keep in touch by phone, e-mail, or in person when we can.  But at 16, I left the state and never went back.  1200 miles between us meant one or two visits a year, if we were lucky…not exactly a good way to get close to her really great kids.

And then there’s my husband’s nephews and niece.  We moved back up north (after I’d be in the south for pretty much 18 years), a little over seven years ago.  My husband’s nephews and niece were still kids then…still young enough to go pick up and take to Frankenmuth, or CedarPoint, or even have over for a sleep over.  But we didn’t… They live an hour away, and it just seemed there’d always be time ‘later.’  Oh, we saw them at Christmas and other holidays too, but that’s not the same thing as getting to spend some really good quality time with them.  Now the niece is a young woman with a toddler; the oldest nephew has his own place and is in college; and the younger nephew has graduated high school, has his own place, and is expecting a baby (well he’s not, but you know what I mean).

Another friend of mine has two children.  One whom I was close to when she was little because we were neighbors for a year or so, and one who I really didn’t get to see that much because distance again became a factor (we ended up living in different states).  The little girl I loved so much is now grown, and expecting her first baby (something in the water, folks, hah!). But the boy, the youngest, is still a kid.  He’s my daughter’s age in fact (just turned teen) and even though he’s in a different state, I’m not blowing this one.  His mom is taking a trip to my state, and she’s coming to visit us and then leave her son in my care for a few days.  Hurrah!  I actually get to enjoy time with him before he’s all grown up and has no interest in spending time with a boring old lady .  You can bet your shoes I’m going to enjoy every second that young man is here.

And the point of my story, in case you’re wondering what it is…is that kids don’t stay kids long.  They really don’t.  You’ve only got a short window of opportunity to be a part of their youth.  It’s a glorious opportunity and gift to be a part of a child’s life.  Don’t blow your chance.  If you have young ones in your life, and you’re thinking, “Man, I’ve got to spend some time with such and such,” or “I’d sure like to take such and such here or there,” don’t just let the thought be a fleeting one.  Take action.  Make those memories now.  Trust me, tomorrow might be too late. 

10 comments:

  1. Right, time is fleeting. Before you know it, that little boy whose diapers you changed is now changing his own baby's nappies. Now is all we have. We must seize every moment, and make the most of whatever time we get to spend with the little ones.

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  2. You are so right, time goes by even faster when kids are involved! My sister has two kids and I feel so fortunate to have been a big part of their lives as they were growing up. I feel very close to them and I have great memories, as do they. My sister in law, however lives across the country. She has two little girls. I've only met the 3 year old once and we haven't' seen the baby. I'm worried that they won't know their aunt, uncle and cousins. We are a close family, I hate the idea of two little girls that we adore viewing us as strangers!

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  3. Oh, your last paragraph just got me. My youngest had a rough infancy and now she is a barrel of high energy fun and humor. These are the years I want to bottle up and save forever. They aren't easy, but as a former middle school teacher, I knows what lies ahead!! Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

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  4. Is it me or does it feel like kids shouldn't really grow when you don't see them? Like you, when I haven't seen a friend's child in a year or more, I am always amazed that they've grown. Their image in my mind is a still frame and it seems incomprehensible that they continue to grow when they are not in front of me. Yet, even with my own kids, I am floored to look at them at times and realize I can't even pick them up to carry them to their beds anymore when they fall asleep on the couch or in the car. Sigh....

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  5. What a nice group of responses, t/y! I agree that they don't seem to grow as quickly in our thoughts as they do in reality when we're far away.

    I also agree that it's hard to show them how much we love them when THEY don't see US all of the time. We know how we feel about them, but they're kids, so if we're not involved in their lives, we can become just a name that's mentioned from time to time.

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  6. You got that right. My god-daughter just graduated from high school. Her mom and I have also been friends with the 7th grade. We were still best buds when she had her daughter but we grew apart over the years. I too left home and only have short visits which is usually just spent with my parents. Of course I knew old she was each year but somehow it was shocking to get the graduation announcement.

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  7. You are so right! When I married my husband 12 years ago...his kids were 5, 7 and 9. Now, they are 17, 19 and 21. It doesn't seem like that much time has passed! Heck, my own kids are nearly 15 and 11. It's crazy how fast they grow. I'm so glad we have made many memories together...and more still to come =)

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  8. This is so true. Time just flies by...it's scary!

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  9. Right on!! The question is how to act and not just think or sit down and wonder how did time flew by....
    See you around, your friend from VoiceBoks
    Lolo
    http://www.detodounlolo.blogspot.com

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  10. I know what you mean! My son (my one and only child) is turning 5 in 2 days and I am already wondering where the time has gone! He's going to kindergarten next month! My baby is starting school already? Next thing I know, he will be graduating(hopefully LOL)!

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