Monday, January 9, 2012

Another Old Lady Post -- Featuring Trace Adkins

There's always a couple of things that happen during the week that spark an idea for the weekly blog post.  The first was a question one of my former students posed on her Facebook page about letting her seven-week-old baby cry to sleep.  The other was a conversation with an old friend.

Remember when you were in the grocery store and an older woman stopped you and told you to enjoy your babies while they are little?  One day they will be grown and you'll wonder where the time has gone.  Alisa (yes, the Alisa that sparked my journey towards natural birth) and I were talking about this yesterday -- how we couldn't really grasp what the "old" lady was saying at the time.  But now, well, it's happening.  Neither of us have little babies and toddlers at home at anymore.  They are all in school.

I was telling my 15-year-old this week that if he could just see the big picture, he would probably do things a little differently.  I told him even at 25, I'm not sure I could see it.  At nearly 41, I'm seeing the big picture a bit clearer.

My 50-something-year-old cousin -- a prison guard -- made this comment on his Wall this week:  I remember as a parent, a swat across the butt would get their attention. Now as a grandparent a hug gets their hearts....and mine. I've finally figured out that their hearts are more important than their attention. I guess the old saying is the time you are old enough to be a grandparent, you are mature enough to be a parent.

I'm not quite there yet - thankfully - but I'm seeing what the "old" people are talking about.  When Darcy was still small enough to hold, maybe 3 or so, I told her that one day I wouldn't be able to hold her anymore.  She got real sad and refused to believe that was true.  We went one by one through the other kids and I asked her if she ever sees me carry them.  At the time, the only one taller than me was my son.  The image of me carrying him around made Darcy giggle.  She's tried to stay small, but it's not working out!  She's almost 7 now, and needless to say, I can't carry her anymore.

I have a house with bigger kids now.  Two of my kids are taller than me now.  They all go to sleep on their own and sleep through the night.  They can mostly take care of themselves.  Darcy still needs some help, but it's readily available by other people besides just me.  I can leave the house by myself almost whenever I need to.  Rarely do I have someone sitting on my lap.  I don't get to read to anyone much anymore now that they all can do that on their own.   The slings I carried them in are all tucked neatly away in their baby buckets.

My point?  These phases that we are in -- even the ones that seem like they will last forever -- don't.  They will end.  Every day we make memories and lay a foundation.  Hold your babies.  You cannot spoil them.  I do think you can "spoil" an older child, but that's a story for another day!  A baby's needs and wants are the same thing.

I keep telling myself,  "This too shall pass" with the 15-year-old, but unfortunately, I've got 3 more right behind him!  Ha!  I'll do my best to follow my own advice and love them, enjoy this time, knowing it won't last forever.  I wish the baby phase back -- not sure I'll wish for the teenage years back though!


Frugal, AP Mama said...

It all shall pass and rather quickly in retrospect. I'm always a bit baffled by parents who say "I can't wait until they are grown." I want to enjoy every minute of this age (well okay I could skip my 2 year old's tantrums). Sometimes I have trouble letting my children out of the house becuase I hate to miss a moment of their lives. I only get this age for a year, and then it's over. Sometimes, it's not even a year.

mama foosa said...

I love this post. As a first time mama to an 8 month old who is still not sleeping through the night - I see no problem with it. It hurts me to hear fellow mamas letting their babes cry it out or spanking their one year olds...just plain not meeting their needs and treating them as burdens. I know they'll look back with regret. At 3am, my crying baby needs love. I guarantee I won't have a 15 year old waking up to snuggle with me and I'll be wanting him to be the 8 month old chunk, needing his mama again :)

Samantha said...

Wow, you're friend shared a wonderful thought. It's hard to see beyond the muck when you're in the mire, I suppose. I can already see how fast life is going by, and I know it will go even faster with each child we add to our family. Thanks for the post :)

Nicole said...

And this is why the first words out of my mouth right after Claire was born, I kid you not, were "I AM NEVER GOING BACK TO WORK!"....Do not get me wrong, I miss work, its a sacrifice to stay at home... and some days I am not so sure I like it. But man, when we are in the middle of a giggle fest at 2pm... the last 22 mo have all been worth it! I can be CEO later... she is only going to be little now. Thanks for a great post!

prncssprple said...

I had at status update on my Facebook page about a month or two ago on how I was holding my sweet sleeping baby while he napped and I wish I had a maid because I didn't want to do anything but sit there and hold him. A friend of mine came along and shared this poem and it is so fitting for this topic,
"Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow
For babies grow up I've learned to my sorrow
So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."
My baby is just 6 months old but every time I look at him I realize how short this time is and I don't care if I am rocking him to sleep at 2-3 years old. One day, I won't be able to and this is a special time I cherish with him right now.

gremlin1 said...

I love your perspective and couldn't agree with you more. I loved feeling my daughter's chubby little cheek on mine and hearing her sweet little voice saying, "lub you,mommy." She's 28 now and still puts her cheek next to mine and says, "I love you, mom." I cherish this stage in our lives as much as each stage before but I am accutely more aware of how fleeting time really is. Thank you for understanding.

Andrea said...

I applaud you for a wonderful blog post! My "babies" are 5, 3 and 6 months right now and I am just getting to the point that I can tell people "See, it doesn't last forever" when I am questioned about thier sleeping habits or why I hadn't weaned them yet. I am just thankful I was able to gain this perspective early on in my first daughter's life and cherish these moments rather than rush them. My 5 and 3 year olds both weaned on thier own and now can put themselves to sleep when needed (however we still enjoy sitting with them most nights when we can). I rock my 6 month old to sleep and knowing she is my last baby makes it very bittersweet. I am clinging to every moment and have such sadness for the parents that rush this when I know they will look back someday and realize they shouldn't have.