Monday, February 4, 2013

Flying Years



I found this picture the other day-I had posted it back in 2008. I remember this night and it seems like yesterday but it was four whole years ago.  It was a rare warm November evening and we all went out and played for one last hoorah before the cold winter air came in for the season.

I don't know if I really knew that time would fly so quickly-Isaac is now in college, Abbey is so much older today than she is in this photo-those years from 12-16 are just huge, and Matt and Andrew just seem so young.  And look at my baby Patrick.  Now he is no longer a baby, and we have little baby Janey who was just a little star in the heavens at the time of this photo.

This always makes me cry-this feeling like time if just flying faster than I can keep up with it.  I feel like I shouldn't feel this way-I have six beautiful happy healthy growing children-children are supposed to grow up to be adults-it's not like I didn't know that.  But it is so bittersweet to me.  And in four years when I look at a photo of all of us from this year, I am sure I will feel the same way.  It tightens my chest up-I want to bawl.  Am I crazy?  Do other mothers feel this way?  I just want the years to go on and on like the way they are forever.  Just our family, here, under my roof.  And in some ways it's worse than ever with my baby Janey.  Will this be the last time I fish tiny socks out of the dryer?  The last time I buy little diapers or Johnsons baby shampoo or little onesies?  I want to hold on to everything forever.  I want the days to go slower, I want the years to go slower, I want to never ever wish one day away, unappreciated, or waste an inkling of time being the mother I want to be to my family.

52 comments:

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  2. I feel exactly this same way, and my baby is four :( want to live these years out well. And want them to last forever.

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  3. Absolutely. Agree 100%. I feel it so very much. I actually worry that I might have a problem. I see photos of my 2 oldest & wish it would all just go back to then. We were & are so happy. I want to squish two years into one. And don't even get me started about my youngest going off to grade 2 this morning. Bawling for an hour on end. Niki

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  4. I feel exactly the same way. My daughter just turned 11 and it seems like she was born yesterday. Each year seems to go faster to me. And I don't like it! But like you said, they are supposed to grow up and we are doing our jobs well. :)

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  5. You are not crazy at all! As a mom of 6 myself, I so relate. My oldest is 24 and the youngest is 6.
    And I will happily share my kleenex box with you! :)

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  6. Amen to that Sarah! I feel this way constantly!

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  7. Sarah, I feel the exact same way. I tell my kids when I see pictures of them when they were younger that I miss them. They think I am crazy because they are right in front of me. But I do! I miss those loose teeth and baby faces! Oh, I wish time could slow down.
    My boy is picking out colleges and my girl is starting high school next year! Yikes!

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  8. This was so inspirational. Thank you for reminding me to appreciate these days.

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  9. I can totally relate to your post. You are so wise to realize how precious your time with your kids is while they are still at home. Too many women don't learn that until their kids have grown up and are gone.

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  10. I remember when my oldest was only a couple of months old and I watched her sleep in her crib. I started bawling because I felt she was growing up too fast and that before I knew it she would be grown and gone. And now, all four of my girls are grown and gone and I have just my son at home. Those feelings of wanting to bawl your eyes out because your babies are growing up too fast comes from a "mother's heart." It just tugs at your heart strings. I told my son tonight that the closest he would come to knowing how much mothers love their children is when he becomes a dad. It will only be then that he will come close to knowing how much I love him. I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father lets mothers experience that kind of love --even though it is bitter-sweet.

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  11. It just goes by so so fast. Fortunately all my children live very close and so I am involved in the grandchildren's lives weekly. Even so those days are also fly by. Two littlies started school last week and two started kinder - they seem so grown up already. Thats 7 already learning all new stuff outside the home.

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  12. You are not alone....I feel it too physically in my chest and heart... I am a new mom its three years that we brought our children home, they were 7 and 9; time flew they are so grown up now, I look at past pictures and cannot believe my eyes and I feel a pang of guilt because all I remember of the three years is me "mothering", i wish we had more cuddling time....you know? Thank you for posting!

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  13. I'm totally in touch with this emotion. I cried when we took down the kiddos' cribs last spring. My oldest turns 10 this year and I still wonder where all the time went. Hugs.

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  14. I feel exactly the same way, Sarah. Just last night I was holding my three year old in the kitchen and dancing with him. It's something I've done with all my kids, but as they grew, there was always a new baby to hold. This time it's my last and he's just about too big for me to hold and dance with. I nearly burst into tears on the spot. It's so exciting to see them grow and become such wonderful people, but it's also bittersweet. I just want a slow motion button sometimes.

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  15. The other day I was going through old photos and came across some of my littlest (will be 5 in 2 weeks). I told my husband when I saw that photo I could just feel his squishy cheeks and soft baby hair, I just wish I actually could go back and hold him at 1 and breathe him in again. It's extremely emotional to watch them grow so fast. But I do love this stage, so I keep hoping ill love every stage?! Thank you as always for sharing!

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  16. Sarah, the experience of grandchildren is ahead of you. That has been glorious for me. It is like revisiting the past, but I can just enjoy. My children bear the stresses and responsibility of parenthood, I just get to play with those babies!

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  17. I feel the same way! In fact, if I am awake in the middle of the night the thought of how quickly time is moving consumes me! I want time to slow down. I'm not ready to have my children grow up so quickly! Nice to know it's not just me!

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  18. I feel exactly the same way. My husband says we have grandchildren to look forward to and even though I know I will love that stage I feel like it won't be the same! I always try to remember a Dr. Seuss quote..."don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." However I still do cry and smile at the same time!

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  19. I feel the same way and I'm only on baby one who is a toddler and expecting number 2. I always think I'm crazy!

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  20. Yes, this is motherhood, isn't it? My first is only 17 months but I have cried looking at her newborn photos and asked why I can't just do that one more time. I think it is these feelings that makes us slow down and appreciate the present, and I thank God for that.

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  21. I'm right with you. I was crying yesterday; my second (and last) baby just turned one recently and he's just growing so fast. I put his outgrown clothes away with sadness...it took so long to have my babies and just like that it goes by in a blink. It doesn't seem fair. I'm glad for my kids; they have so much ahead. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a bit jealous of all the wonderful things in store for them? Then, I know it's just that I'm so excited for them. I also know that there are lots of wonderful more things in store for ME too. And the same is true for you. My own Mom always soothes me and says: "Megan, I'm still mothering my kids and I'm 65 years old. You are calling me in tears at 34 years of age and here I am trying to help. See? Don't worry, once a mother, always a mother." I had to laugh. :)

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  22. Just like many other women here, I share these feelings of yours. I want time to slow down, I live a slow paced life for that reason, I think it helps with the regrets. If we go too fast and do too much I know regret will come. I have followed many of your advises-even those you don't mean to give but are so loud on this blog..I LOVE that.
    You are 10 years ahead of me and I am so grateful for your wisdom and perspective. My five children are still young but I know in a few years things will be different, hopefully still good...just different.
    You are blessed, your older children are jewels (they all are) but I love your teens and I am proud of them! I hope they know that they give hope to moms like me.

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  23. Me, too!

    I also don't want to waste any time feeling anxious and sad prematurely! Do you know what I mean?

    And, if we're listing our wishes here, can I wish that I won't ever lose my memories and photos so that I will always be warmed by this beautiful season when I've passed through it?

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  24. I feel the same way. I am glad I am taking so many pictures of my three girls, but honestly, when I look at the pics of years' past, it mostly makes me depressed that it's gone so fast. :(

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  25. No one ever told me that in amongst all the beautiful, wonderful joy in parenting there would be a lot of grief too. Not because my kids are naughty or motherhood stresses me out, but because it actually hurts my heart and soul to see them growing up. It brings me to tears at times. Not that I want to hamper that growth or see them turn out to be anything less than independent, productive and self-sufficient people. But the growing up and letting go process is hard. Very very hard. Parenthood requires a certain amount of grieving. Which is a strange dicotomy...new life (and lives) will cause grief.

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  26. I have been blessed with 2 kids that are 7 1/2 years apart. We worked hard for them. I try so hard to live in the moment but when my son got his temps for driving this passed week I was again reminded he will leave the nest sooner then I am ready for. Tissue please...

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  27. So glad I'm not the only one!! I can cry just watching our digital picture frame rotate through photos of my three babes over the years.
    And the idea of giving away their baby clothes gives me anxiety. My husband thinks I'm crazy, so it's nice to know there are others who get emotional about it, too!

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  28. I know just what you mean. Saturday night I was looking for a picture in my files and I started going further and further back through the years. When I looked at pictures like the one you posted I was amazed at how young they looked. They had seemed so big to me at the time. It is a heartache to watch them grow up and away. When it comes to my busy teenagers I think how much I miss them and they haven't even left home. I think maybe that is why I would have babies forever, if I could. Then I have the illusion of keeping them small. Like you I really try to enjoy these days. I don't do it perfectly, but I really try.

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  29. My (one and only) baby is only two and I got choked up just reading this post! You are definitely not alone!

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  30. My mom used to say this to me all the time, and now that I am a mom I know how she feels. She would say she just wanted time to stop and everyone to stay the same forever as a family together...but then she would mention it again from time to time, like when one of us got married and when one of us had a new baby, that she would not get to meet all these new family members if time just stopped. But I feel the SAME way...my kiddos are getting so big, too fast for me.

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  31. To me one of the blessings of having many kids, is that I feel more free to let the oldest grow older (though of course none of mine have ventured nearly as far into grown-up land as yours!), because I have a baby around to baby. And having that oldest at the same time reminds me not to rush and to cherish that sweet littlest one.

    But...what will we do when these babies are no longer babies?!

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  32. If only there really was a parallel universe. The one we, as the mothers, get to live in forever, as it stands right now.
    And the one they, our children, who grow up and beyond our four walls. Finding their destiny and their treasures in life. Wouldn't that be divine? A win-win if you ask me.
    Sharing your thoughts and bottling every single moment.
    None to waste and all to love.
    Entirely...with my whole heart and soul.

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  33. Gosh I am so glad to read this post and all of the comments. I thought I was maybe a bit nuts? I have 7 kids (14-1) and bittersweet is the definition of my mothering life. Thanks for sharing this and thank to all the commenters...

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  34. Thank you for this post. I feel exactly the same way. It's encouraging to hear some one else articulate these feelings so well. I also have 6 children (11 years-8months) I am always wishing the years would slow down, I want us to stay like this forever! It is so bitter-sweet.

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  35. Your post makes ME want to bawl!!! You have such a beautiful family!

    But, you didn't make any mention at all of the cute little doggie in the picture. :)

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  36. I know exactly what you mean. It is so bittersweet. I have six children 21 down to 7. Today I took my sweet sixteen daughter shopping for her birthday and I just wanted to cry and say, "Please, don't grow up anymore!" I don't want the kids to grow up and move out. I want this time to be forever, even though somewhere inside of me, I know it can't. How I love being a mom and how grateful I am. My life could have been so much different. God has given me the desire of my heart. Our life isn't perfect as two of our kids have health problems, but I am so very, very grateful for every day with my kids and husband. Thank you, God.

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  37. Wow! This made me cry and cry. I feel exactly the same way. My oldest just got his drivers permit, my baby is turning two this month and there are no more babies in my future. I feel time slipping by so quickly and I feel like I remember past days less and less all the time. I want to soak up every detail and never waste a second. But that is so hard to do. Thanks for touching my heartstrings today and articulating my feelings so beautifully!

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  38. I could not agree more! My oldest just turned 19, my baby is 11 and things are definitely changing around here. They are uncomfortable permanent changes, glad it's not just me feelin' them!

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  39. I teared up reading this because I could've written it myself. I say these exact words to my husband frequently. I think he thinks I'm crazy, but it's nice to know I'm not alone in having these feelings. Thanks so much for sharing. I love your blog!

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  40. Have been feeling this too. We were blessed with one child, a fine son. He just registered for senior classes last week. My heart is full of so many things as well.

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  41. You are definitely not alone! I was so sad leading up to by oldest starting kindergarten -- I just knew once "real" school started that was it! Everything just flies by! Now I have registered her for 1st grade and in a minute it will be 8th and 12th! It really is unbelievable host fast there little lives go by. My goal is to embrace each possible moment of their little lives!

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  42. You made ME burst into tears. You are not alone, and your children will long for you at times just like you long for them. You will always live together in the shelter of each other's hearts. Thank you for the best post in my inbox. I love your blog!!!

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  43. Lovely and timely, as always. I've been feeling this way a LOT lately...I love your point about making sure to treasure each moment and never regretting any mommy moments. Thank you!

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  44. Sarah,

    Yes, I do think many mothers feel this way.Every night as I snuggle with my girls at bedtime, I thank God for the day - good or bad - because I know it is a priceless day. Like you, I am soaking up as much as I possibly can..and taking lots of pictures so I can cherish memories and relive them again and again. :)

    Thank you for your eloquent reminder to reflect gratitude of our precious children.

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  45. I feel the same way. My baby is going to be 15 in a couple of weeks. Being a mommy is the greatest blessing.

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  46. I feel the exact same way. I just cried reading your post. :) WHERE does the time go?!

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  47. And this is why I can't look at pictures of my kids when they were younger. Total and complete breakdown! My youngest is 12 and the oldest is in college, too soon, yet right on time.

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  48. Oh Sarah. I always have the hardest time with this too. I am really struggling with it right now with Kole. Like you said with Janey I just keep thinking "this is the last time I will do this..." I could cry about it every day!!

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  49. I know just how you feel. My oldest will be going off to college and my baby is 7 already. I walked through Walmart tonight with her and passed by baby bathtubs and the toddler section ... I miss all that. I especially miss the simplicity of those days. I remember it feeling so hard at the time, but these days with 5 children and their busy lives ... it is definitely more challenging.
    Sniff, sniff ...

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  50. had to chime in. My three year old wanted to watch home movies yesterday and I can't. It makes me so sad to see my two little ones as babies. They are very close in age, but I was in graduate school while I had them (20 mos) and I feel as if grad school STOLE my motherhood, especially w/ my little one who is only one but far too old already. I also am so jealous of baby Janey, sometimes I can't visit blogs with babies because I miss my own babies so much, they're so gorgeous. But alas, we all age one day at a time and there is no stopping babies from growing up. SIGH.

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