by Ginger on October 23, 2013

in Mom Thoughts, The Kid

The other day, I was watching Jackson do something, stacking something with lots of different sized and shaped pieces. Anyway, I was watching him do things with his hands, and I noticed he was using these very precise, deliberate, almost graceful movements to accomplish his task. I watched his fingers gently curl around this roundish piece, delicately place it on that squarish piece. His little finger was raised as if he was a society lady holding a teacup. His hands had purpose, but they were working with grace.

I watched his hands, and his fingers, and the fine motor skills, and it was one of those moments that hit me–someday he will be a man, and these hands will have turned into a man’s hands, and this is just the beginning of a process that leads to the future.

His hands are getting bigger, of course they are, but they’re also getting narrower. Gone are the dimples in his knuckles, the chubby fingers, the big chubby paw of a hand. They are stretching and narrowing and those last whispers of babyhood are leaving. His hands now are the hands of a little boy, and though I can see in my memory the fingers that grabbed mine when he was a newborn, and an infant, and a toddler, I know that this stage too will be a memory soon.

Days are long, years are short. Sunrise, sunset. Kids grow up, what a shocker. Etc. Etc.

I don’t know what to do with that knowledge sometimes.

Here’s a secret: sometimes I want him to grow up. I want him to grow up and be rational and be logical and not be so…so…so…four. I want him out of this stage, and into the next one, for the love of all things holy. For all the admonishments to “enjoy every day” and “they’ll be gone before you know it,” there are days when I DO want to rush through to the next stage, another stage, another age where things aren’t so hard.

Here’s another secret: the idea of him growing up wrecks me. Beyond the worries that we’re going to totally screw up raising him and the general terror around the possibilities in the teen years, the idea of him growing up, and leaving home, and not being my baby anymore claws at my heart. I understand now, why my mom cried when I went away to college.

The dichotomy of parenting for me is such that both those things exist in me at the same time. I want him to grow up, I don’t want him to grow up. I want him to be my baby, I want him to act like a big kid. I want the impossible, in any case.

Sonya October 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Wow…this post certainly captures my feelings as well. Some days I just wish Sophie would be a more grownup, rational kid who would not freak out when I try to get her to do something new. Other times, I want her to always love her stuffed animals and give me sweet hugs and kisses freely. It’s such a push and pull of emotions.

You express yourself so beautifully, friend. 🙂 Miss you!

Sarah October 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Beautifully written. I can so relate to this right now. Spencer just turned four and so far four is very bossy, emotional, screamy…but also insightful and funny. As we were walking home from a store tonight holding hands I actually thought for a moment about how quickly time is passing and that someday he may not want to hold my hand anymore. It made my heart hurt a little. But it’s also so exciting to see him grow everyday. Parenting is rough stuff.

Ana November 5, 2013 at 9:43 am

“I want him to grow up and be rational and be logical and not be so…so…so…”. Replace “four” with “not quite four” and you have summed up my thoughts exactly. And yet…I don’t want to lose the hugs and kisses, wanting to hold mommy’s hand… So many emotions all at the same time! No wonder we are so tired, us mothers!!

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