You see that plate pictured above? It’s my sons. We bought him one of those cute little sets with the plate, cup, and silverware when he was 4 or 5. He’s 13 now. After he outgrew it, my daughter and various daycare kids over the years have used it. Why am I telling you this? Because while washing it the other day I realized how long we’ve had it. A flood of memories hit and although it’s cliche and everyone hates hearing it – You are going to miss this.
You are going to miss so much. We live our lives day by day just going through the motions of life. Keeping ourselves busy with work, school, sports, whatever we have to do. The days pass by, some faster than others and it’s not until life slows down or a birthday approaches we realize how grown our kids are. Everyday they’re becoming more independent. Everyday they’re learning new life skills. Everyday they’re growing and it goes by faster and faster every year. Slowly without realizing it, moments slip away and you begin to miss the little things.
One day you are buckling your sweet toddler into his carseat knowing full well he’s going to try to unbuckle up the street and the next you are sending him off to his first day of high school. Time goes by so much faster after you have kids. It’s life’s cruel way of making you slow down and enjoy every moment no matter how terrible or stressful it can be. Then if you decide to have more than one kid, the time goes even faster. The days blur together and the years fly by. You’ll remember the moments like it was yesterday, but when you finally look up from your busy life you feel like you missed it all. You’ll see how grown up your kids are. You’ll realize all the things you miss. You’ll want to pause time even if just for a moment because it’s going by too fast.
You are going to miss this. You are going to miss packing your kid from the car into the store in the pouring rain. Bending down to tie their shoe. Cuddling them to sleep at night. That 3pm tantrum because they’re fighting a nap. Having to stop 100 times on a road trip because they have to pee and they’re potty training. Picking up the toys scattered about the house after your kid played all day. You are going to miss the sound of training wheels rolling across the pavement. Cartoons playing on the TV 24/7. The kids fighting in the back of the car. The scream they do when they’re throwing a tantrum. You are going to miss every good, bad, sad, stressful, miserable, happy moment your parenting journey has offered you.
In the moment, whether good or bad, whether you’re enjoying it or not, you are going to miss it. There will be a day you will long for all those moments back. Looking at all the things my kids can do and learned over the years, I wouldn’t change a thing. I do however wish I enjoyed the little moments more than I did because I miss them. I want those moments back. Hot wheels used to fill the room as my sweet boy laid there playing and he’d look up and smile. Those are now replaced with video games and a “what” when I enter his room. Enjoy the moments no matter how big or small, no matter how good or bad, because before you know it they’ll be gone.