Turtle days and Hare years

Life is jogging along at the moment, days are passing and getting longer. Clothes are being hung out to dry, folded, re-worn and washed again and for the first time in what feels like months none of us has a cold. We are spending our days seeing friends and pottering around at home. All very uneventful and normal. However, ahead I can see milestones, little changes and bigger ones that make me take a sharp intake of breath and shut my eyes for a moment in some kind of futile attempt to slow things down.

In less than a month Mini Mck will be three, it seems such a big number and yet so did one and two before they arrived. A couple of weeks after that he will be starting nursery, something I am both dreading and counting down to with glee, as I am in such need of a break and more time to get things done and spend some precious alone hours with my baby, while he still is a baby. Nano has some milestones of his own approaching. At the beginning of May he will be baptised and a month later he will be a year old.

I am not very good with change. I am still quite upset about the new layout in Morrisons and it’s been finished for a month. When it comes to my children I have found the milestones and changes very difficult, something I had never given any thought to before I became a parent. I never knew that from the moment they are born there are so many moments of letting go, in tiny increments and even the minuscule, insignificant ones can be hard, even when you know they are for the best.

I resist the practical things, such as moving them into their own bedrooms or putting Mini Mck into a bed rather than a cot. The situation follows the same pattern with Mckdaddy and I discussing a change and my head knowing it is the right thing, but my heart aching that another part of the journey is over. Mckdaddy is there to give me the final shove and a change is made and without exception it has always been the right thing and the next stage comes along and I find that the change is not so bad after all.

Birthdays are more tricky. They are abstract really, no-one is a year older, we are all just another day older, but the milestone is marked and I find it hard. So far I haven’t approached Mini Mck’s birthdays with any excitement. I find them a bit stressful and the day itself makes me anxious. As I watch friends become excited about their child’s special day, I feel sad that I don’t feel the same and that, for me, they seem to hold too much significance.

I have no real conclusions to draw about my dislike of the milestones and I only hope that as they get bigger and more excited about the changes in their own lives I will find it easier to share it with them. Of course, I want them to grow away from me and be independent, but it just seems to be happening so quickly.

It is the paradox of parenting babies and toddlers, some days can seem to crawl along at such a slow pace, filled with many, many short and then discarded activities and yet the years move at speed so fast it makes your stomach lurch as if you are on the fastest roller coaster imaginable.

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12 thoughts on “Turtle days and Hare years

  1. Those little letting gos are SO hard and they make my heart ache and my eyes fill. I really understand this post, my eldest is 16 in May and I just want to wrap my arms around him and stop time, just for a little bit longer. There…I'm crying again!

  2. I understand the birthdays thing so well. I think it is why Maxi was 4 before I baked hi a birthday cake or held a party. That required planning and acknowledgement that he was growing older. I couldn't post about his birthday on the day, I needed to keep him to myself a little longer

  3. I so get this. It's what made me what to drop everything and travel around the world. But it's bittersweet too. It's wonderful getting to know the people they are becoming. Change is hard, but it's usually good too.

  4. I thought I only felt like this because I only have one child, so it's comforting to know mums of several children can feel sad at milestones whooshing by, too. Although I had thought I could just keep having babies until the feeling disappears, so now I'll have to rethink!

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