Wednesday, September 4, 2013

For Posterity (and Rainy Days)

We've had bad luck with our kids.--they've all grown up.  
-Christopher Morley

Yesterday I woke up to a lovely poem on my nephew's 17th birthday:

This is what my nephew looks like now:

Yikes!!! I think I am getting older because I am in the same place these days.  My son is only 14, but I am feeling a similar nostalgia about him aging and going away.  I am recording this today as proof that having 4 small children actually pays off at some point.  I remember when a friend of mine had her first baby she said something like "You know before I had kids, I thought it was going to be 90% and 10% fun.  But when I actually had a baby, it turns out it was 10% work and 90% fun."  When she said that I thought she was so sweet but a little crazy.  It IS 90% work!!! 

But now, now that my youngest child is in kinder, I am getting there.  I still feel that my younger kids are high levels of work--they are always wanting things like food and help finding shoes.  But my older children, wow, what a sweet payoff.

They used to ask for stuff.  When they were this size:

But lately, when they call and ask "hey can I stay at my friend's house?"  I feel like saying "No!!! come hang out with me!!!" But I don't really have a reason to say no, so I just say "I guess.  Be home by 5:30."  

Because this is what it is like to hang out with them now:

And the feeling is bittersweet--because just as I like them more, they like other people more.  Just as I want to hang out with them and play games or watch youtube videos of stupid music videos from my childhood, they want to come home late from doing more fun things with their friends.

Soon enough, these wonderful little children will become actual adults and move out while I will be left wondering why I found cooking dinner such a chore after all.

I suppose having 4 children at least gives me a little extra time because while they are still asking for stuff and needing stuff, they are getting pretty fun too:

And even now, as I am posting this, I am worried about my kids' grades, their friendships, and developing the spirituality in my children.  But when Jenny posted her poem about her oldest child, it gave me a fleeting glance into my own future in which I am reluctant to let my kids go, I am devastated that they are leaving me and my first act as an empty nester is to show up on the doorstep of some poor child of mine and say "Hey, come home and watch this Jimmy Fallon bit with me."  

And their roommates will look them in the eye and whisper "Make sure she takes you food shopping while you are out."

1 comment:

  1. What happened to them is right, they got so old! And don't worry, eventually they will come around to wanting to hang out with you again instead of just friends. That's how it's been for us at least.