Another Birthday *Sigh*

Molly 2011

My oldest daughter, Molly, is 8 today.  At 1:00 this morning, she was still awake.  Yeah, we take full advantage of summer break around here–late nights watching movies, late mornings spent blissfully in bed.  She was going through the kitchen on the way to the bathroom and it occurred to me it was officially her birthday.  I called her to me, gave her a hug, and told her happy birthday.  She looked at the clock and said, “It doesn’t feel like I’m 8.”  Exactly, dear girl.

How can she be 8?  She started kindergarten yesterday, last week she was a toddler, and a week before that she was the newborn daughter I never thought I’d have.   How can this eye-rolling, hands-on-hips, Taylor Swift loving, increasingly boy-crazy woman-child be that same baby-breathed, finger clutching, **Tickles and Rubbings** lover I held in my arms just a short time ago?  It’s impossible.  Inconceivable.  Insupportable.  Inevitable.

**Tickles and Rubbings is alternating between finger tickles down the spine and rubbing the entire back.  It was Molly’s daily request up until a couple of years ago.  I miss it.  Horribly.

They have to grow up and they insist on doing it as quickly as possible.  The process is a chaotic and frustrating one.  I get caught up in the melodrama, the fights, the mess, and the discipline of raising 5 kids.  Some days I have trouble remembering why I kept any of them past the age of three.  Then a birthday arrives and suddenly all I remember are the sweet times.  The times when I was “mommy” and the center of their universe.  When looking at them was looking at an honest to God miracle.  I promise myself I’ll think of them like that when they’re being horrible to one another and I intend to keep that promise.  Then they’re calling each other “idiot” and throwing freshly folded laundry on their floor and I forget.  I forget the miracle.  The blessing.  The honor of being a mother.

So, I make the promise again today.  I can keep it this time, right?  Baby girl has just smashed a strawberry cereal bar into the carpet.  Molly, dear girl, has just hit her brother and called him a moron.  Deep breaths.  They are a miracle.  A blessing.  A blessing.  A blessing.

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38 thoughts on “Another Birthday *Sigh*

  1. Since it is now technically June 5th I guess I am late but Happy Birthday to Molly! They do grow up so fast. I have no kids of my own yet but I have alot of nieces and nephews. One of which just got married and had her first baby. When I was sitting in the hospital holding my great niece I decided then I was officially getting old.Wish life had a pause button that we could use on occasion.

    • The oldest turning 12 was bad. Far worse is the Baby Girl turning 2 in October. How did thathappen? I miss my newborn baby’s breath on my cheek as she slept in my arms. I’m tearing up, now. 😦

      • Awwww. That sounds so awesome. I cannot wait to experience that myself some day! Looking so forward to being a mommy.

      • Haha! Girl … you are gonna work yourself into a frenzy and you will explode when they get ready to leave High School. Gotta learn to savor your moments and enjoy the changes. This speaking from a mommy who didn’t and thought she would die when the oldest two graduated from High School. There are always Grand babies for the holding. They are your reward for living through rasing your kiddos! 🙂 HUGS

  2. They are indeed a blessing.

    We have three, boy, girl, boy, 17, 15, 13 respectively. Time flies and only yesterday I had them lying on my chest (skin to skin) blissfully asleep cooing and dreaming.

    Three teenagers bring their challenges, but, I also see the men and woman they are turning in to and I like what I can see.

    I am so grateful to God for them all.

  3. It’s impossible. Inconceivable. Insupportable. Inevitable.

    This line in your piece just gets right to the heart of it…and right to MY heart as well. It is too fast. Maybe the smashed cereal bars and the name calling are just thrown in so that we don’t feel complete despair about them growing up! 🙂

      • Oh, look! I read this when it was your original post! What struck me this time was the photo of Molly on the left and yours on the right. Before I started reading and thought, hey! I remember this, I almost thought the photo of her was you. Just looking at the two faces I see a terrific resemblance.

  4. Its wierd how kids think of people like us as old ladies. I dont feel old, not one bit. Oh well.

    Back rubbings is what my mom did every night. Well thats how I remember it though it probably wasnt so often as that. Its a wonderfull memory and probably the reason I am spoiled. Your babygirl will remember back rubbies for all her life. Im sure.

    • I didn’t feel old until tonight. I watched the MTV Movie Awards and didn’t know half the people there. To top it off, they gave Reese Witherspoon (age 35) a “Generation Award.” I’m not sure what that means, but it had all the markings of a “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Good grief.

      Right now, Baby Girl prefers playing with my hair when going to sleep on my chest. I’m a hair twirler myself so we have our own version of “tickles and rubbings.”

  5. I have raised–am still raising one–four beautiful loud children. My oldest is not 29. How can that be?? Now, I cuddle her cute baby girl in my arms, who just turned ONE! How can that be?? It just flies by so fast. Savor the moments. The good. The bad. The hairy-crazy-fun of being a mom. Oh and it never stops. The grand babies are AMAZING! just sayin’ Followed you from the CC Club 🙂

    • I can see the appeal of grandchildren. All the cute you can handle and then you give them back! I’m savoring the moments after the fact, when the frustration has worn off. BTW, you have the best blog name ever. I’ll be visiting as soon as I can find the time.

  6. Those long days, and even longer nights of babies, toddlers and small children, when 24 hours feel forever. . . Suddenly, the years have pled up into a feeling of five minutes later and they are looking down at you!
    Happy Birthday Memories to you and Happy Birthday Molly!

  7. You and Accidental StepMom have a lot in common at the moment! 😆

    Turn around and blink and she will be at Junior High (did I get that right?) and then graduating.

    She looks stunning!

    • We do have a lot in common. Our girls are growing up fast! Junior High is what my parents called it, but now it’s “Middle School.” So you were almost right. 🙂 Thank you for the compliment. I’m surprised her hair was somewhat in order.

    • I’m trying. I’m told the trying times will be looked back on with fondness and humor. I’m having a hard time believing that with the kids home this summer.

  8. Well now…that bickering? It doesn’t end…ever!

    Our kids are three years apart and, long ago, we thought that we were so smart with our spawn-spacing. When #2 was born, #1 entered Nursery School. I had some quiet time with #2 while #1 was doing finger-paint masterpieces and socializing. And, #3 came along with #’s 1 & 2 at their schools…hubs and I kept patting each other’s backs for being geniuses.

    And then…they got older, without notice, and turned into three alien children.

    They are now…39, 36 and almost 33. The fights continue, via e-mail, iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, nasty voice mails yet, the hubs and I still feel we are blessed; yes indeed.

    You see, we have four fabulous Grandchildren; our reward for the years of eye-rolling, foot-stomping, belligerent behaviors that we suffered through.

    We are very blessed!

    • It sounds like it. Even through the petty arguments, I still feel that way. And grandchildren? The dream children–you can send them back when they start that crap. 🙂

  9. Such a sweet age!
    I stare at my kids’ legs…for some reason, the legs make them look older each year. So I bite them and stare at them and hold onto little kid sweetness a little bit longer while watching them grow before my eyes. It’s crazy stuff.

    • I know what you mean. The dimples go away, they get gangly, and then hair grows-first blonde and then darker. It’s almost as sad as when they lose the baby fat roundness to their faces. As I said, *sigh.*

  10. My nephew is coming to visit today. He’s nearly two and a half now. I remember cuddling him as a baby. Now the only time he’s still is right before a nap. I cherish holding him still, even for those brief moments, because I know it won’t last forever. I imagine as a mom that feeling is a million times stronger. Great post! And thanks so much for linking up with The Lightning and the Lightning Bug!

    • I always feel incredibly bad for my parents, who live 700 miles away. They don’t get to see the kids as often as they’d like and they are always so grown up from the last visit.

      I love the Lightning and the Lightning Bug! I’ll definitely be a regular participant.

  11. My oldest nephew just started his second year of COLLEGE. It blows my mind. I remember seeing him through the hospital nursery glass for the first time and crying because he was crying. It feels like yesterday. Lovely post.

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