Thursday, February 26, 2004

Reflections on motherhood (cue "Sunrise, Sunset" in the background)...

A couple of blogs today got me thinking about motherhood and the brevity of my childrens' childhood. Where on earth did the years go?

First, it was MomBear's blog asking that very question and commenting, "Sure, I remember events, but sometimes I just want my babies back." I hear you!

Then it was Rebecca's blog, reporting on the latest from her precocious youngster: "Now that he's feeling better again, Nicholas has started talking in similes -- an interesting new development, seeing as he invents his own and they don't always quite follow the usual pattern. Today, for instance, he told me that I was "stubborn as a mouse". And this evening he told me solemnly:

'Mommy, you're as famous as a donut.'"

I couldn't help but chuckle, remembering funny things my own precocious youngsters have said down through the years.

I remember once in particular when I was hearing Elizabeth's bedtime prayers. She couldn't have been more than five at the time, maybe younger. In the midst of thanking God for the beautiful trees, flowers, etc,. she added a heartfelt, "...and the houses! The Victorian houses! They're so...beautiful!"

I stifled my laughter at the time, realizing that she had often heard me point out and gush over the beautiful Victorian houses in our city. I had to wonder, though, if that was the first time God had ever been thanked for them. :)

Justin had the cutest way of speaking when he was little. He couldn't say his "S's," pronouncing them as "D's" instead. Once, when the Chicago Bear's Super Bowl Shuffle was popular, he exclaimed: "I can ding that dong! The Duper Bowl Duffle!"

Early one morning, I puzzled over his request when he crawled into bed with me: "Mommy, let's juggle chudders." I finally figured out he wanted to "snuggle each other."

Those were the days. And yet it seems my children have gotten more fun and enjoyable as they've gotten older--more wonderful to be around--just when it was time for them to leave home.

Probably at no other time is a parent as forcefully confronted with the brevity of their offspring's childhood as at their child's wedding. I experienced this in January, as my firstborn entered into holy matrimony. I was prepared to make good use of the Kleenex at the actual ceremony, but I was blindsided by a sudden jolt of emotion at the rehearsal. When Jonathan emerged from a side room to take his place at the altar during the practice run-through, I was suddenly struck with the fact that my baby was now a grown man. It was as if a crazed VCR machine had fast-forwarded through all the years between his adorable babyhood and where he stood now, handsome and grown-up and independent.

If you're reading this and you're the mom of a little one, do something for me. Even if that little one is driving you up a wall right now, go grab them and give them a big hug and a kiss for me. In no time at all, they'll be grown up.

As David Kauffman sings, "Turn around slowly, life is a racer. A blink of an eye takes us from here to there. Turn around slowly; treasure each day here. These precious moments may come to be rare....."

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