Years ago I promised myself, after my kids were grown, I would never say to a young mother, “Enjoy them now because they will be gone before you know it.” It seems older mothers are quick to offer such comforting advice when two or more of your kids are having a major meltdown in a very crowded checkout line on the hottest day of the summer. I once came really close to asking a woman if she wanted to take all three of mine home with her to enjoy them for a while.
However, now that I’m an older mother I will admit I have said those very words. I try not to, in any way, offer comfort or advice to a woman with screaming children. I clearly remember how close I came to saying ugly things in return. I have decided, though, it’s an OK thing to say if everyone is calm, dry and acting precious.
Kids grow up like water evaporating. You know it’s happening, but don’t really know how it works. The newborn and infant stages seem to last so long they should be counted in dog years. When Travis was about three weeks old he started screaming with colic. I called my sister-in-law Rayanna. She didn’t have kids yet but she was a nurse and I thought surely she would have some helpful hints. She said, “It’s OK Suz, it only lasts about three months.”
Are you kidding me? In dog years time that’s like two plus years. After Rayanna had her girls she understood the dog years theory. We still laugh about her scholarly advice.
However when kids start grade school the years get shorter. Junior high for some reverts to dog years, but then high school is like a downhill slide out the door. It’s true, before you know it they are grown, married and have kids of their own.