Friday, June 18, 2010

They Grow Up So Fast

Written September 5, 1994.

"They grow up so fast!"

You cannot count how many times this phrase has been used.

It is offered as sage advice from older moms, who are are wistfully musing  moments slipped away and opportunities lost, and are encouraging younger moms to cherish the moments.

It can be a frustrated exclamation of a  new and stressful developmental crisis, a mommy facing a stage that had once seemed far in the future.

It shows a disbelief at the passage of time and the natural pace of maturity. With a longing tone, the mommy wishes to hold precious memories and feelings as near to heart as at the moment of occurrence.

As I watch my oldest daughter, I am continually reminded of the dark-haired, smiley, chubby infant she was. She was my firstborn joy and delight, the child who crowned me with motherhood.

Can this really be her…already?

She has the all-important air of being a second grader, complete with the toothless confident smile, and the oldest reigning over three siblings. As she bustles around caring for and chasing after the 13 month old toddling toddler, soothes frustrations of a  four year old sister, or patiently teaches the 5 year old brother to read, I am amazed.

How can she do that?

How does she know what to do?

They grow up so fast!

I imagine my friends must feel this same surprised amazement as they send their children to college, down the aisle for marriage or into the world for employment. Do they wonder how the time to say good-bye is  already here?

They grow up so fast!

As our own children fly through their lives on wings of independence, we find the inward musing turns to outward advice, as we try to prepare younger mothers for the unstoppable passage of time. We want to warn them, somehow, as older women tried to warn us.

So, when the simple sentence is uttered, it means many things.

Don't let the days go by without many hugs, kisses and encouragements.

Don't le the days go by without teaching, correcting, disciplining.

Don't let the days go by without laughing, playing, sharing.

Don't let the days go by with anger, regrets, unspoken apologies.

They grow up so fast!

Why do we never, never tire of this overwhelmingly simply spoken sentence?

Because, they grow up so fast.

16 years later

Jana with Brookelyn Grace, 3, and Brayden Aaron, 1.
She blogs at The Roli Poli's.

Can this really be her…already? She has the God-given importance of being a young mommy of two precious kids. As she bustles around caring for and chasing after the 1 year old toddling son and soothing frustrations of a precocious three year old daughter, I am amazed.

How can she do that?
How does she know what to do?

And now her heart beats with mine with the same agonizing eagerness to cling to the moments and cherish the memories, because -
They grow up so fast.


  1. Ok, readhing this at work, tears streaming down, not good for my meeting with bill gates . . . life, way to fast, they never taught us in the child books for this time when they would leave and grow up . . . not fair . . .

  2. wow... I still remember the picture of your kiddos on the sofa in your home here in Wichita... that is the way I fondly remember them... it is amazing to realize how much time has gone by and how much they have grown... Leanne

  3. I too had tears! Thank you for writing about me in such a special way!!! It is amazing how fast it goes by. I remember like it was yesterday caring for all the siblings. I remember always toting a baby around on my hip and taking them for long walks when they were grumpy. I worried, played, laughed and cried over them and now I am doing the same with my kids! I have loved being a big sister and am so blessed to have my own children. And I am SUPER blessed to have such an awesome Momma as you!! I Love you so much and have learned everything I know about being a Mommy from you!


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