Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Never Grow Up

I'm not a fan of my kids growing up. I have friends who seem to embrace every new milestone, and appreciate the new independence and abilities their children are acquiring as they age, and I wonder, "why can't I feel more like that?" I try so hard to live in the moment; really enjoy the little people my kids are becoming, and look forward to their next new accomplishment. But, more often than not, I find myself lamenting each new phase, and mourning the loss of a once treasured toy, book, or movie. Why can't they be sweet, little, and innocent forever? Why do they have to put away childish things and move away? Why can't Philip adore Caillou until he is 18? (Okay, not seriously. Maybe eight?).

So many of my friends seem to rejoice when it's time to give away the crib and not carry around diapers anymore. I hope when that day finally comes for me that I am finally ready for it, too.

I "red-shirted" Philip for kindergarten. He could've/should've gone this fall, but his teachers felt it best for his emotional and social development if he repeated his first preschool year, so that's what we did. Although it wasn't a decision I arrived at easily, I have to admit that one of the reasons it appealed to me on a mom level was that I could postpone sending him out into the big, bad world of school bus bullies and peer influence and keep him little one more year. And, even though the day will come a whole year later when I'll finally have to put him on that big yellow bus, I'll still be up all night in tears, dreading the sunrise. I know I will.

My kids getting older doesn't make me excited. It makes me anxious, clingy, and nostalgic. I love the baby days. Heck, I love the newborn days. I love the toddler days. The rocking and singing lullabies to sleep. I love that my kids still need me in an uninhibited, not embarrassing, full of honesty and innocence kind of way. Admittedly, I don't look forward to the day when I'm not the center of their universe. :-p

Hopefully it will just be a natural progression of time passing that causes me not to tear up when I change out one school picture for the next. When I finally accept that there is nothing in the toddler section for my son after size 5T. When there's no where left for me to shop for him but the
big boys" section, the one that's filled with licensed character pajamas featuring Lego Star Wars, Ninja Turtles, and something called "Mine Craft" [("Mind Craft?" I don't even know. Correction: I don't  to know!)]  Where none of the clothes say "Daddy's Little Quarterback." (Reading over this, I realize that clothing seems to cause me a lot of mental anguish :-p). The day my PJ-loving oldest decides footie pajamas are no longer for him may be the day I finally go and get that anxiety prescription I very well may need.

I do find that seeing Philip get older and tackle all of these firsts, first, is much harder on me than watching his little brother do them two years later. I am hopeful that will help me get through the many passing stages and phases that lay ahead of us with Andrew and Lydia. I just pray that watching my baby leave her babyhood behind her doesn't cause me even more stress than watching my oldest do it!

Philip, age 5

Andrew, age 3

Lydia, 8 months

"Your little hand's wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you everything's funny, you got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh darlin', don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darlin', don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up"

Taylor Swift, "Never Grow Up"

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