Stop the Clock

When my boys were little, I made an error.

A HUGE error.

It would be hard to pinpoint exactly what caused me to have such a lapse in rational, adult-like judgment. Nevertheless, I did it and there is no going back.

I wished they would get older. I couldn't wait.

Of all the wishes I had made in my life, I am not sure why THIS one had to come true. But for that one moment or twelve that I was exasperated with all manner of sippy cups, diapers, and other various and sundry tasks that sap the energy of a mother, I managed to conjure up enough superpower to cause time to fast- forward.

This seems to be a one-way trip with no refunds, no take-backs and no do-overs.

How else can I explain how two days ago I was changing a diaper on one, trying to keep another from destroying the house, while the oldest was watching "Pinky and the Brain"? Because yesterday while the oldest was sitting in the living room while we ordered her Senior pictures, the other two were stuck on the school bus that was parked on the side of the road waiting for the police to show up.

(In order to protect the not-so-innocent, I will not disclose WHY the police were called. I will say that thankfully no one was hurt, and it wasn't because of my boys.)

Of all the advice I was given as my children were growing up, the one piece that sticks out in my mind is, "Enjoy them while they are young."

I always thought the very idea was crazy. While we were in the moment, a day seemed like it strung out for a week. Enjoy it? What exactly was I supposed to be enjoying?!?

As  have finally approached middle age, I understand all the hoopla  now. Back when I was still a toddler myself, yet ironically seemed to have more patience, I thought life would just be better when the boys were older.

Older, as in the ages they are now.

My boys are twelve and ten. The youngest will be eleven in April. They are in sixth and fifth grades and I love this age. To a point...

(My actual favorite age is fourth grade, but that is neither here nor there.)

Instead of diapers, sippy cups, annoying cartoon characters/children's programming and complete and utter control over their lives, I traded it all in for unpredictable hormones, insatiable hunger, Star Wars, and compromise that will make all parties happy.

Most of the time, I am not regretting my wish for them to get older. Only between 6:00-6:10 A.M., 3:25-4:00 P.M., 8:30-8:45 P.M, and when they ask, "What's for breakfast/lunch/dinner?" or "What can I have for a snack?" do I think, "What in the world did I do?"

I love that they have an actual opinion about social issues. I love that they are interested in politics. I love that they are curious about the world and can't wait to learn more. I love that we can talk and have a real, actual conversation.

I knew when they got older, there would be issues that would be hard. And I have had to have some hard conversations with them way before I ever dreamed I would.

It's one thing to say something like, "There may be some kids at school that _______ and this is how you deal with ___________."

It is completely different to have a conversation about the hard topics when it involves a child in their grade.

While I still have the time, I plan on enjoying every minute. One bird will be leaving the nest later this year. As much as I really, REALLY don't want her to go, she is ready. My other two chicks are going to have to slow down.

I am not ready to let them fly just yet.



Sara @ Life With the Two said...

Yesterday, Zeph told me she was going to root for Sebastian Schnülle during the Iditarod this year. And then I cried because she's old enough to know about such things as the Iditarod. It was just last week she was learning how to use a FORK, right?

And? My absolute favorite age is 3rd grade. Funny we'd like approximately the same age group, right?

Stacey said...

Oh, so gorgeous! LOVE this post!

(and 3rd grade is my favorite, too! my least favorite so far? junior year. oh, the stress!!!)

Heather said...

Thanks, Stacy.

Third grade was my favorite for a long time. Then I taught fourth grade. Oh, they are just so precious.

Shell said...

My boys are 6, 4, and 2. And I know that some day, I will regret wishing these days would go faster.

Just not today. Not this week, while we're potty training and I'm wishing time would fly.

Monica said...

THIS is my favorite post. Ever. I feel you, I know exactly how you feel.

Lori said...

I can so relate to this one!

vanderbiltwife said...

I have a 3-year-old and a just-turned-1-year-old. And when people say, "These are the best times!" sometimes it's hard to take them seriously. I do try to keep a mindset that we'll trade in all the little problems for big problems one of these days, and these probably ARE the best. They are adorable, they love me, their hormones are not raging. It's so so hard to stay sane ... but I try to take at least five minutes each day to just enjoy them.


Sherry Aikens said...

great post.   I wished it away the little years and feel bad about that.  But I have to say he is amazing now in 5th grade.  I like dealing with a somewhat rational person who can discuss. He is lovely and I really am enjoying my son my daughter almost 7 is harder because she a little more difficult.  I real related to your post. thanks.

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