My little girls are in preschool. Both in the 'wow, they're growing up' way, and in the 'they are actually, right now, not in my house' way. Both ways are fantastic.
But, let's talk about growing up. I have a hard time with change and passage of time, and growing up captures both of these fears in its inevitable way. I had more than two years with my kids at home. With nothing but my kids at home. After having worked for the first 18 months of their lives, I was happy to spend this time with them, to get to know them, to guide them, all that sappy stuff.
But, being inundated with them, day in and day out, I had a hard time appreciating them, their phase in life. I was annoyed, touched out, sometimes even snappish. They are a lot. A lot of everything. And I knew better, I really did. But I can't help my nature, and that nature is not very patient. So my impatience definitely hampered some of my time with them. Instead of always growing with them, playing with them, and excusing their age-appropriate behavior, I wished the days by. Enough is enough is too much of this.
But it's time I'll never get back. And I'm thankful for the times when I was able to take a step back and really look at my babies...for who they were at two and three and four. Now that they're gone for three hours a day, we can never go back to the full-time, all-the-time, never-apart years again. This is it. They're in school now for the rest of their lives with me. So, really, those two years weren't so long, were they?
And, of course, my friend is torturing me with sappy songs about kids growing up and not giving a damn about their parents anymore, while the parents remember so poignantly the first years of life.
The love a baby/toddler/preschooler has for her mother is beyond any other love I've ever experienced. It truly is unconditional. My kids love me hard. They love me so hard.
Will that go away with time?
I fear that. I want them to love me like this, like I love them, for all of their lives, with no breaks for angsty teenage years, no breaks as they struggle to figure out who they are apart from me.
So, while I relish that my kids are growing up and this is how it should be, I am also incredibly sad that these years, this love, will also change and grow. I want my cake while eating it. As always.
I love you, girls.