Saturday, August 21, 2010

thoughts on growing up

004

We bought Hadley this bike for her first birthday.  I was so excited to give it to her.  I remember she had on a pink dress and a very tiny bit of hair pointing straight up on top of her head in a very tiny pony tail.  It was 1993. 

That first year of her life seemed to last forever. I wanted her to have hair and walk with shiny patent leather shoes.  I couldn’t wait to see her grow up, like a real kid that would need me to tell her to clean her room and eat her vegetables.  

007

And it happened even better than my motherly whims could imagine.  My daughter grew before my very eyes into a beautiful young woman.  She sang and played us her masterpieces  on the piano (“Staples oh Staphulls” is a favorite). She read books and enlisted her siblings into plays and magic shows. She developed a sense of style and became one of the nicest people you could be lucky enough to meet. 

010

She went from being the finger sucking baby on my hip to my dear friend.  

Should you be friends with your kids?  Yes.

I’ll tell you why you should… because before you know it they grow up and are no longer sleeping and waking in your house.  They sprout wings and start their own adventures.  And they need you even more, they need you to tell them all these new worries and concerns are normal, that they are strong and that you are proud.  Then they can step out of your bubble and open their arms to the world.  The bright, colorful, living, breathing, world.  And then your heart will feel like it is breaking open.  Because you aren’t ready, because you miss her and because you can’t hug her everyday.

This is where I am at.  My daughter is a sophomore in college (she is much smarter than me because I thought you spelled sophomore like sophmore—who says soph-O-more?) Every year brings a new emotion, I didn’t know it would be this emotionally achy. I am weepy at weird stuff.

The logical part of me feels grateful she has this opportunity.  I have traveled to parts of the world where women live some pretty hard lives.  To struggle just because you are a girl?  My daughters are among the luckiest women in the world just because they were born here.  They will grow and learn and hopefully value their education.  And when they are done learning in brick buildings with manicured flower beds and done traveling to wherever life leads them then can return to us.  To their old Mom and Pop who will welcome them with open arms.

I miss you, Hadley.

0071

8 comments:

Dina said...

The time is flying by, and we are not far from where you are with Hadley. Part of me longs for my sweet bubbly toddler and the other can't wait to see the woman she will become. I share your feelings.

Andi said...

Oh. How sweet. Mine are growing up way too fast.

Kim Snawder said...

Oh Kate, my heart is breaking for you. As I read your post, the tears are pouring down my cheeks as I remember the same memories as you. They do grow up way too fast. This was my second time to send J.T. off to school for the year and I thought it would be easier. In a way it was, but I am still feeling that empty place in my heart everytime I walk past his room or find a dirty sock or t-shirt that he forgot to take with him. I guess in a way those feelings will never vanish. Hopefully our children will always miss us as much as we miss them. Thinking of you and Hadley often.

Jemm said...

Oh, my goodness I can't even imagine. We just TODAY visited a relative that had her 3rd child. A brand new baby. I sat and rocked him for at least an hour while he slept in my arms. My girls are 11 and 9 and I'm starting to get scared. I feel like I'm already losing them a little. Is there anything harder than being a mom?

Jacqueline said...

Get the pink hankies out and can I just weep with you?

Weeping for a daughter age 22...gone to live with a boyfriend. He's a "no good" for her but she does not know it yet...mothers rich opinion kept under my bonnet, even when she asks...I'm her friend, and allow her to learn.

Paula said...

My head knows that my children's growth is a great thing, but my heart doesn't like their ability to actually do things without me. College is a special time!

Dawn said...

Isn't it crazy how we want them to get out of a stage, then hurry up and get to a more fun stage, then s-l-o-w down because they are growing up to fast! It's hard to remember to cherish each spot. And of course you should be friends with your daughters!

Leila said...

I know!!