Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Strange Grief

I have gone through this before.  That strange ache to freeze time.  A pause button on life.  Maybe just the chance to slow the days down just a bit.

Caden was maybe 5 or 6, the other boys 9, 10 and 11.  We went to a Children's Festival in the park.  My oldest two were completely bored.  My third took almost an hour to join in.  My baby ran off to have a great time.  I looked around and realized that my then pre-teens were the some of the oldest children there.  An era was ending.  I grieved for several days with that deep ache only other mothers know underneath the smile on my face. 

My boys were growing up. 

I might have mentioned before that I LOVE being a mom.  I love especially being a mom of kids that willingly throw themselves into your arms and participate fully and joyfully in all things LIFE.  What I really, really love is that time period between ages 4 and 9 or so when a child gleefully embraces everything around them, openly adores their parents and is willing to try new things without the required peer approval that arrives somewhere around age 10.   Don't get me wrong, I love my teenagers and love my babies too, there is just something about a child that willingly invites you to participates in all areas of their life, and not just because they need you to wipe their bum or a ride to the mall!

Caden just turned 9.    Caden is my son that still tells me I am the most beautiful woman in the world at least once a day.  He wants nothing more than to be cuddled before bed.  He adores me with an unabashed love.  He is fun and sweet and sensitive and loving.  And he is growing up.  And before my eyes the last remnant of my baby boy is disappearing.  I want to pause and remember.  Freeze time before this slips through my fingers. 

He came home from school this week and didn't come racing up the stairs to say hello.  He hid down there to play his DS which is NOT allowed on a school night.  He disobeyed.  Alas, of course a normal turn of events in most children's lives.  Just not HIS yet.  He is growing up.  The lure of the Nintendo more than the fear of getting in trouble by his mom.  A true sign of maturity.

And yet last night before bed he crawled into my lap and begged for a snuggle.  The remnant of my baby remains. 

I grieve the end of another era but I will celebrate and accept that I can not hold back time.  I am the mother of teenagers.  I am the mother of babies.  And I am now the mother of a definite "middler".  And the reality that in a few short years a child will leave home, then another and then one more nips at the back of my
mind and I hold these precious memories close.  I will freeze time in my memory. 


FireMom said...

Oh, I'm weepy. Beautiful post.

Kristie said...

Hi Jen,
I too know your grief. My eldest turns 15. I longingly remember the days when he brought untold joy simply be being. I just told my middle that she is not allowed to turn 12. And I too have a "Caden" who does much the same as yours. I long for long lazy days when time slows down ad we could just be...

Jenny said...

I think that change over from kid to preteen is one of the hardest. Heck, each change is hard. I even felt a small measure of sadness when my last baby moved to underwear.

miss kitten said...

i am a divorced (and remarried) mom of two. my older child is no longer a child, she's 27 and blissfully denying me the rite of grandparenthood. :D

my younger child is 16. he lives with his dad, not with me. when we divorced, we gave him the chance to put in his opinion, and then decided that yes, he was right. he had passed the need for mama to be there constantly and he needed his dad to teach him man things.

he is my baby. when he gets to come visit (summer and a week or so in winter) he spends the first couple of days practically in my lap. he's the child of my illness, who didnt get time at the beach or climbing hills or taking hikes like his sister did, all those active times, but he got long talks and painted toenails (he needs to stop betting on football games!) and dyed green and blue hair before he went to visit his grandparents.

and every summer and winter i look forward so much to that time when i'll have my baby (now taller than i am) in my lap again, telling me how much he's missed me. his dad does a wonderful job, so does the woman his dad loves now. and i dont hold that against them. but...i miss my baby in my lap, his arms around my neck, feeling his breath on my cheek as he tells me he loves me.

Unknown said...

I want to HOLD this time. Knowing full well it is the BEST time of my life. Other good things will come ... but THIS is the best time. My 6 kids under my roof. The years are flying by.

Lala's world said...

oh I so relate!! tonight my almost 16 year old yelled at me "you just don't understand"...and my 9 year old came and is trying to curl up on my lap...literally...such opposite spectrums and both flying by!

Fatcat said...

It goes too fast!!!!!