Monday, March 24, 2008

Growing pains

When I was at work earlier today I was struck how much I miss Graham.

Not because I was at work and he was being cared for by someone else: I’m perfectly content to be a working mom.

My heart ached with yearning today because my gaze lingered too long on this photo I keep at my desk.



And I was suddenly struck by the fact that I will never, ever see that darling baby again.

As parents we are accustomed to lamenting the passage of time and the rate at which our children grow. From the moment pregnancy is confirmed we are admonished to savor every moment because it will all pass in the blink of an eye.

But no matter how much people warn you, it is impossible to prepare yourself for the intensity of parenting.

It is impossible to imagine how inexplicably moved you will feel by the mere passage of time. It is impossible to imagine the heartbreak of watching the babies and children you love disappear day after day and night after night.

Not that their replacements aren’t some consolation: I love my tall and gangly 28-and-a-half-month-old every bit as much as I loved that squat and chubby 11-month-old.

But I miss that baby.

And I miss this one.

And this one.

And this one

And I never cease to be amazed at the exquisite mix of love and heartbreak and yearning that comes along with parenting.

And at the way, an old photo, stuck in a goofy frame at work, can make me feel so unbearably happy and proud and sad at the same time.

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73 comments:

flutter said...

Ok you have to warn me when you are going to be all sweet and beautifully written.

So warn me all the time, k?

Angie said...

Watching and LETTING them grow up is the hardest part of parenting, I think. Especially when they want to as I am starting to experience with a 5 and 6 year old.

KEEP BELIEVING

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Yep.

JCK said...

So lovely. So true.

I have a little meme for you over at my blog. Promise it isn't painful. Really. I do.

Corey~living and loving said...

I was just lamenting this the last few months when Sugar turned three. I love who she is NOW, but it doesn't mean I can't miss who she was.
I'd give anything to get a few more kisses onto her chubby wubby cheeks. sigh....you are so not alone in this.

Casey's trio said...

This was such a sweet post and so very true!

Are You Serious! said...

♥ I miss the baby stage too!

a kelly said...

yearning...yes that is the word.
I sometimes wish I could visit my daughter somehow at each age.
good thing for pictures!

Kat said...

I can only imagine what that must be like. He is so cute in every stage...

chelle said...

I got all misty ... I so hate to see them grow up so fast yet the excitement of every milestone is so wondrous!

He is a handsome boy!

chelle said...

I got all misty ... I so hate to see them grow up so fast yet the excitement of every milestone is so wondrous!

He is a handsome boy!

Happy Days said...

I can so relate!!!! This is sooo true. I just signed my oldest "baby" up for kindergarten and I don't know how I am ever going to be able to put him on the bus in the fall!
With that being said, as much as you hate each stage to pass by, each new one has brought wonderful things too! Thanks for sharing!

OHmommy said...

Oh so true.

My baby is about to take her first steps... she looks so different, so much older, so not a like a baby when she is upright.

I know she is my last baby. This makes it much harder. I know I will miss her too. The baby.

Dayna said...

My youngest is four - and I miss the little baby - the one that only wanted me, that smiled at everything I did. Of course, I don't miss the diapers, or having to buckle him into everything.

Kimmylyn said...

It is almost painful some days watching my boys grow up so quickly. I cannot believe I have a ten month old already, I feel like I just gave birth. And my oldest is getting ready to turn four in a few months.. FOUR.

I totally get this post. Beautifully written. Love the pictures.

Lori said...

it is hard to look back on the changes and realize that your little one will not always be a "little one" but that is why we take so many pictures to remember and cherish those times, while still enjoying and relishing in the new

Sass E-mum said...

Yes, I get that.

And it's a shock, even though everyone told me it would be so.

Heather said...

Yes, I miss their younger selves, but I also continue to be amazed and love seeing the bigger kids that they are growing into. Each age I keep thinking: This is my favorite age.

Someone Being Me said...

I hate that it goes by too fast. I love watching my son grow and learn new things but each new thing he learns means he is growing up. It is hard.

Just Janice said...

Too cute! Wouldn't it be nice if we could save time in a bottle?

Jen said...

I love the one of you spoon feeding him.

My oldest lately just blows me away to look at him. He's not even a little kid anymore. It's sort of surreal.

Dawn said...

He's so incredibly cute. I understand. I've been looking over old photos quite a lot lately thinking the same things.

InTheFastLane said...

I love my kids, but I do so miss my babies.

kittenpie said...

My picture at work is from last summer, nad it looks baby-like to me. I love it, just that tiny bit chubbier and rounder in the face, but I am also loving how kid-like she looks now, no longer a toddler. It's true, each stage is pretty neat in its own way, even if I couldl ive without ome of the stuff that three brought me.

And can I just add that I love your newer look better than that older picture of you?

Laura said...

Funny how they grow up right before our eyes...cherish every stage and step and milestone.

Hope all is well. Have been thinking of you and sending you lots of positive vibes.

Kelly said...

I used to fear the passage of time because I was getting so old and had no babies. Now, I just stand in constant awe at how time brings with it daily discoveries of how much love my heart can hold for my two beautiful babies. This post was lovely.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I was struck by that sadness when Boy-Child#1 and I were looking through old albums to find a baby picture for his 6th grade page in the upcoming yearbook.

caramama said...

Beautiful! The post, the pics, the sentiment. Simply beautiful.

That's it--I have to stop reading you at work. I can't be a pile of mush in the office!!!

ALF said...

That is one cute little boy.

C said...

What a beautiful post :) I must say (once again!) that you are such an incredible writer! This post was both beautiful and sad. Looking forward to reading more of your wonderful posts!

Gwen said...

Oh, I know! I keep begging my daughters to stop growing and they just refuse to oblige me. But what's weird is how much I've forgotten already, and how much I depend on the photos to remind me.

Family Adventure said...

So true - every word. I was looking through the pictures of our year here in Norway, and I was stunned to see how much the boys have changed in just six months. Then it dawned on me that Christopher, at 11, has already probably lived more than half the years he will live at home with us. My heart broke.

Heidi

Hetha said...

This was so beautifully written, and my what a sweet boy you have.

Motherhood for Dummies said...

Oh he is a cutie! Seriously! You and your hubby made a cute kid!!!! Nice job :)

Kitty said...

I can remember that moment of looking at my babies and thinking that all of a sudden the 'baby' had gone, and in its place was a girl, and then a boy (different kids ... not the same one doing gender switching tricks).

Being a parent changes all the time - different phases, different moods, different challenges, different joys. Enjoy the ride! x

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

So true - I always tell my son that I wish I could have him now and a version of him when he was a baby, too, always.

Hmmm, this post made me think you are having a "time for another" type of moment ....

(if I am way off base there, b/c you've shared something I don't know, like you are NOT having any more, please don't be offended!)

Melisa said...

Ugh, I know what you're feeling!

The great thing is, the future is full of just as much Awe. (and Awwwww!! :) )

kay said...

ah the sweetness of a baby!! mine turned 5 today. every year on their birthday's we go through there baby books and i tell them the story of the day they were born. talk about making you miss them!! so sweet! thanks for sharing and reminding me to cherish every moment. (good and bad!)

and thanks for your kind words while i was out of commission. i think i'm better now! :)

Karen said...

You've stated that so perfectly. For as much as you love the stage your child is in right now, it's hard to let go of the one he just left.

I'm eternally grateful that my baby has Downs. He grows up so much slower because of it, and I'm okay with that.

krissy said...

I understand this post all too well. Because I only have one daughter and she will be the only one and she is 10yrs old now. Looking back on pictures are completely bittersweet. I can hardly remember holding her in my arms.

Sigh!

MamaGeek said...

Ah, the power of a photography and a cuuuuute baby.

That Graham is cuteness wrapped in angel!

MamaGeek said...

And WHERE does that time go anyways?

Shan said...

So true. So true. I've really been feeling the pang with Maya, since she is my last baby.

SaraLynn said...

Sigh....you are right on the money again...sniff...i wish we could slow time down a bit

Amy said...

Oh you are so right! The good thing is that just when you don't think anything could be as good as the time you're in now, the next stage brings even more happiness and love!

Amy said...

My screen saver at work is a slide show of all the pictures of my girls. That was I only have 10 seconds to be sad, and then another picture comes up.

Life As I Know It said...

They grow and change so fast, but I find that each stage is better than the last one.
Enjoy!

Shellie said...

Welcome to the club! It's even worse when they're teenagers.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I completely understand. I get very weepy and sentimental especially around the girls' birthdays. We were watching some old home family videos over the weekend that I'd forgotten about and I can't believe how big my 5 1/2 year old is! :(

Parenting is very bittersweet. We hang on to them, but ultimately we are raising them so we can let them go and they can be let go.

Kathryn said...

Exactly. With all of my boys' birthdays in the past month it has really been hitting me hard. They really do grow up too fast. It is so cliche, but so true.

tommie said...

Seeing them lose those chunny little baby cheeks is the hardest! I glance at my 3 and 4 year old and wonder how they got there so quickly.

Brittany said...

You know what happens when I start feeling this way? I get pregnant. sigh. haha.

Nap Warden said...

Well put...well put. I so know what you mean. I miss my babies to...I love my toddlers, but I miss my babies!

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Aw, he is just so beautiful. And I know exactly what you mean. I miss all my babies too, but am amazed and thrilled with the children they are now.
Hope things are good with you, take care.

John-Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John-Michael said...

Me Too!

Me Too, yet again!

Karen MEG said...

You've wrapped parenthood up in a few beautifully simple words... "unbearably happy and proud and sad at the same time" ...

What a lovely retrospective of little Graham. He's such a beautiful little guy. And believe you me, he's still little! (Can't believe my baby is going to be 8 in less than a month!)

Ummmm, time to have another ;)?

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

That spider IS REAL. Can yu even imagine finding this sucker in your house?

God, it makes me want to jump out of my skin.

Hallie

Law Student Hot Mama said...

Isn't it hard that first time you walk out of the room and they don't look for you but play happily by themselves? Love this post!

Kbreints said...

oh yes, Latley I have been feeling the pinch of my boys getting big and knowng that I will never have another is starting to sink in... Ho hum...

Magpie said...

Oh, I know, I know.

I got the kindergarten enrollment package last week and nearly wept.

zoom said...

I know the feeling. I couldn't bear the thought of picking my child up for the last time, so I kept picking him up every now and then long after he was too big to be picked up. We're talking fourteen or so. Fortunately he indulged me in this.

I love who he is, but I miss who he was.

LaskiGal said...

"But no matter how much people warn you, it is impossible to prepare yourself for the intensity of parenting."

These posts always get me. Sometimes I almost wish I could live in ignorant bliss that little J will be 8 months, then 1 year, then 3 years, then a teen, then an adult . . .

I'm excited to see who he'll become, but I'm eager to hold on to each second of who he is.

Your little guy is beautiful . . .

Becky said...

This is just how I feel about my kids. One minute their in diapers pooping their pants, the next minute they're dying their hair.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Blimey this is so true. I miss my babies, even though they are beautiful and still small enough to cuddle on my knee 3 and 7 year olds. Sighhh. Thank God we have cameras now so we can always look back.

Lisa said...

So, so true! You're proud of where they are, excited for where they will go, yet sad for what they've grown past.

I've already told my Hubby that I need to drink heavily when we get rid of all of our baby stuff.

Sigh....

David said...

I stumbled upon your blog thru a back door as it were, as we do when we blog hop. NIce surprise, well laid out, great shots and nice writing. I enjoyed and wanted to thanks for sharing.
Warmly,
David of Whitby

treyslay said...

I love this post . . .

So true about the unstoppable passage of time . . .

Reminds me to treasure every moment, however fleeting . . .:)

Kyla said...

Oh yes. Yes.

LunaNik said...

YES! I was thinking this same thing as I watched my two girls, sitting next to each other, snacking and watching TV. They are growing so fast. They are so big. They are no longer my little babies. **sigh**

Damselfly said...

I think this is a big reason why I want a second baby!

Girl said...

I understand that one. I have three but this large photo that hang above my desk makes me hope for just one more. I am not sure my husband would agree, hee hee.

Mommy Cracked said...

I sooooo feel you on this one. It almost breaks my heart to look at EB's baby pics. It just happened way too fast. *sigh*