Sunday was my son Nicholas’s twenty-fifth birthday. He’s celebrating a quarter of a century on this earth. He’ll celebrate his first wedding anniversary in September. He and his bride closed on their first house in July. I mention all this because he recently traveled to Colorado for two weeks on business. His company sent him out there to do tech support for a new acquisition. Upon hearing this, I turned to my husband and said, “he’s traveling by himself?”
It’s a ridiculous question, I know. In my head (or maybe it’s my heart), he’s still a kid. He can’t be flying on his own, renting a car, staying in a hotel, without . . . adult supervision . . . assistance . . . his mom.
Crazy, isn’t it? As his mother, I still see him as that little boy who loved his big wheel and basketball and Legos. The one who liked for me to come outside and shoot hoops with him or lay on the floor and watch “The Wild Thornberries.” The one with whom I worked in the Pumpkin Patch booth at church. The one who earned the nick name “Cream Puff” because he ate too many at church camp and threw up in the middle of the night (from the upper bunk). The one I insisted had to read the Harry Potter books before I would let him see the movies. How else could I get this kid who really despised school to read?
When we’re in that season of rearing our children it seems as if they’ll never grow up. We’ll never get a full night’s sleep again because they’re babies. We’ll never finish with supper, homework, baths, books and bedtime rituals. We’ll never finish driving them to practices, games, troop meetings, camp, and sleepovers. Then, we’ll never get a full night’s sleep again because they’re teenage drivers.
Then one day, out of the blue, they’re all grownup. He’ll be six-two and tower over you. He’ll know more about computers than you do and cars too. Nicholas walks to his own beat and found his own way in a manner uniquely his. I watched in amazement as he grew into a man before my eyes with that first full-time job and then the first apartment and the first girlfriend who became his best friend.
I say all this because my daughter Erin now has two little ones. My granddaughter will be three in September. My grandson is seventeen months old. Erin never gets enough sleep. She can’t wait for them to be potty trained. To feed themselves without making a mess. To dress themselves. Yet, she frequently sends me videos of them dancing and singing and playing and reading books that I read to her when she was little. They are so cute, so sweet, and so lovable. Already she marvels with me at the changes in them. A toddler becomes a little girl in the blink of eye.
They’re growing up so fast. I don’t get to see them often and she wants me to share in the milestones as this season passes. It will pass so quickly. That’s what I would say to her and to all those mommies and daddies out there. It’s like the song says, “you’re gonna miss this.” Lap up every moment of story time and bubbles and basketball practice and church plays. In the end, this season is all too short. Before you know it, they’ll be on that plane to Colorado.