Watching Them Grow

My kids are getting older.

That’s a fact. No matter how much I tell them they need to stop growing, they continue to do so, against my will. And I haven’t figured out how to stop them.

I see people all around me with young kids. I read blogs of women with young kids, and I sort of feel a little, well, old. And a bit sad too. That phase of my life is slipping by. The phase when I am needed to walk them to school, or when they run to greet me at home (although my greetings are still pretty great!) When they look at me and think I’m their hero. We are almost through that stage.

But, can I just say what an amazing stage this next stage is? These past couple of weeks I have sat back and really just marvelled at how these little people are becoming great people! The kind of people that I promise you, you want to know!!

I am slowly watching them grow taller than me. Eat more than me. Stay up later than me. Become smarter than me.

They are becoming their own people. They are finding their own groove, their own spirit, and their own niche.

And it is so fun to watch that all unravel.

Gabe has been going through so many phases these past couple of years and it has been amazing to watch.

Gabe has always been a bit of a pleaser. That’s not an easy role to play when you are a child from divorce, living in two very different households. You want to please everyone, but you really can’t without sacrificing a piece of yourself.

But recently, he has been arguing. Starting debates. Disagreeing. Asking questions. Questioning beliefs, theories and “givens”. This has been sweet music to my ears. This has given us the opportunity to have some great discussions, learn from each other, teach and model respect, and help him follow (and create) a logical argument. We have seen how his views are changing and being shaped and seeing the kind of solid man he is becoming. I’m happy to report, a solid man just like his Dad.

He has also been figuring out “his thing”. Making new friends, joining new clubs, reading new things. We have been through a pilot/airplane phase, a news/journalist phase, and now are in an stock/investing phase. I call them “phases” as he gets very intensely involved in learning about something and throws himself into it. That is not to say that these “phases” won’t stick with him – as he still loves planes and news, but right now he is throwing himself into learning about stocks and investing. Every day he comes home to tell me something new he has read, or reports on how his virtual stock portfolio is doing (quite well, in case you are wondering). Everyday he is getting smarter and smarter, and I now need to go and look up  what he is talking about.

There is nothing better for a parent than to watch their kids blossom and discover who they are. I know that they are great, but for them to start to realize that potential is amazing.

So, they may not be greeting me at the door with hugs and slobbery kisses anymore, but I still get a hug, AND I get to find out how their mind grew that day, who won the last debate they were having, and how their stock portfolio is performing. I get to expand my mind by learning about their interests, sharing in their dreams and being their biggest cheerleader.

Pretty awesome.

Doesn’t he just look so thrilled about being hugged?


Watching Them Grow — 17 Comments

  1. I still have little kids, but many days I am feeling a bit older myself. But loved how you summed it up and will say it is a real pleasure watching them grow before my eyes, but just wish I could make time stand still just a bit for myself at this point, because it just seems like time is really flying and can’t believe how quickly at times. Also, loved that picture of you and your son!! 🙂

  2. I love this post! With my “baby” starting kindergarten next year and the oldest now in junior high, I feel like we are slipping into this next phase of parenting, too. It’s a little sad, but also really exciting to be able to start relating to the kids on a higher level.

  3. Well, he’s hugging you back so that’s a good thing!!!
    I can totally relate to this – I love the ages my boys are and find life so much easier than when they were little but I do miss being one of the most important parts of their world!!

  4. I love this and I so needed it today!!! My kids are at the slobbery stage and I just can’t imagine what it will be like when they have virtual stock portfolios! When you love kids, each stage can bring so much joy. Thanks for reminding me.

  5. He does look thrilled at being hugged!
    My kids are the slobbery stage and I get anxious about that changing, even though I’m in it right now. I don’t want to stop enjoying these moments because I’m looking to the next. And maybe you’re at the next stage (or two or three) and you’re looking back fondly at my stage, but embracing your own. I suppose that’s what I want most. I do look fondly at my friends with newborns, though, because Des is now such a toddler. And yet, the toddler part is pretty awesome. And I’ll miss it, but I know there are pros and cons to it all.
    Ah, parenting.

  6. Oh he is just SO cute!!! That picture is priceless!!! I love the joy I see all over both your faces!!! Yes… perhaps a little behind you, but I get it. Cleaning out my boy’s clothes and realizing the BIG pants from his cousin are going to fit. Sigh… Our kids are growing fast, Too fast.

  7. I totally relate to this. With four kids, I call them “the bigs” (9, almost 7) and “the littles” (4, almost 2). It’s amazing to watch the growth and re-experience the younger years at the same time.

  8. I just love reading about your love for your kids. I can only imagine that it is bittersweet. Being a mom is so much about being needed. But the role of the parent is really to help guide a child into becoming a responsible adult. And look that happening right before your eyes. Good job mama!

  9. We are in the same parenting place, Leah, although my kids still love to give and get hugs. It is so fun and amazing to watch my kids “grow into” themselves and see glimpse of what they will be like as grown ups. I do get wistful for when they were little, but I love who they are now. Great post!

  10. Love this Leah! It makes me excited for all of the wonderful stages my girls will go through. It is sad to see them grow so quickly, but I love discovering all of the wonderful things in the next phase.

  11. That is pretty awesome. While I’m still in the stage of being in awe because my kids are physically getting bigger and growing out of their little kidness, I have to admit that I’m also looking forward to the stage you describe – when they start finding their way and questioning things and blossom into their own person. It’s bittersweet.

  12. It is so funny that I’m reading this today because I was just thinking this same exact thing about my own kids. My oldest is 14 very soon to be 15. My youngest is 8 and my daughter is 11. The baby years are behind us, that’s true. And it can be sad at times to think of that since I loved that time. But this time is really great and I need to remind myself of this!! Watching my oldest start spreading his wings and finding his way is amazing. We are also having fun together in a different way, we compare our music lists on our iPhones, or he lectures me about how to close out my apps so I don’t drain out my battery. Or he asks me questions about a girl, or something that is bothering him. These are special times!! Thanks so much for putting that in focus for me. Great post!!! Lovely to find your site via the SITS share. I will be making this a regular stop now!

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