And when you pick them up in the afternoon after their nap, you can sometimes see how much they’ve changed. How much they’ve grown. They grow so fast. You can see it.
Then, the babies grow legs, and the growing seems to stop… it slows down… and you see their growth in 6 month spurts, sometimes in 4 month spurts… but definitely, you can definitely see the growth as the seasons change.
And, so you settle into this routine, of the growth slowing down into more manageable chunks. Times is still moving, but it’s manageable.
And then, they become adolescents… and in many ways they become like infants all over again, with their pressing needs, their constant demands to run them here and be there, and to show up for this and that. And the food. The bottomless pit they cannot, and you cannot keep up with. And their friends, and all of these new people who come in out of their lives. The girls. The friendships they form right under your nose, sometimes, in your kitchen, when you invite them over to spend the evening in your basement, and you serve them home-made Chex Mix, and whatever other junk food they want, because you want them here. Suddenly, the need to go out fades away, so that you can be home to man the fort, and see what is happening right under your nose. Because you can’t bear to miss one single event that he offers to share with you under your nose, under this roof, where he has grown so very much.
And you should need to have them there. So you can see what’s going on and who these wonderful people are that are coming into your child’s life — your life. And they are wonderful people… The girls are delightful, and some of them even start to follow your board on Pinterest, because they like your snacks so much.
But, underneath it all, there is this stealthy growth. It’s happening just as fast as that infant baby that used to sleep upstairs every afternoon from 2:30 to 4:10. He’s becoming a man. Independent, separating and pulling away. You see him growing taller, and you are looking up all the time to see where he’s headed, and what he’s thinking… and you love it. Because now you can have all of those in-depth conversations… but you know, that change is coming. So, it’s so bittersweet… This is the end.
And, don’t forget to look down. Because you still have those little ones behind you that are not growing as fast, but they still need you in their own little middle school and elementary dramas. Except, now you know… now you know, and you can see those little clues that you missed before. When you thought that growth had slowed down, you realize now, because you see it in your oldest — they are slipping away just as fast. You couldn’t see it before. But now it’s just as plain as day… time is slipping away. The clock is ticking.