I was having a clear out the other day and I came across a box of cards that I’ve been collecting from about 20 years ago, and I found one that was given to me after I had had my first child. The words jogged my memory and I now remember them very well. They were written by a close friend at the time that already had 3 children, and she said in the card ‘Treasure every moment because it goes so fast’. How those words have rung true ever since.
At the time, when I’d had my first baby, the growing up of my son seemed so far away. I couldn’t contemplate anything for more than 3 weeks into the future. Nevertheless, looking back, it has gone incredibly quickly and he’s now 15 years old. He’s reached the dizzying height of 6ft 1, (this is dizzying for me because I am a short-arse), and he’s currently taking his GCSE Mock exams. He’s doing really well at the moment and has loads of enthusiasm for his forthcoming college applications. I am so proud of him and everything he’s achieved.
My friend and I were reminiscing the other day about these things because she has two daughters that were born around the same time as my two. She mentioned how, the other day, she was walking past a couple with a little girl in a pushchair who sounded just like hers when she was about 2 years old. These things happen to me too. I may be at work with a little one that reminds me of my boys when they were toddlers. It is lovely to think about, but quite sad because I know that that time has now gone and I have only lovely memories to keep.
I know the time from babyhood to primary school age can be bloody tiring. I can remember getting to the end of the day with a newborn baby and a 2-year-old running around all day, and when I’d put them to bed in the evening I collapsed on the sofa with exhaustion and didn’t even have the energy to read the paper. But the times were precious and I miss them.
Here are some of the things I miss like mad that I used to do with my kids when they were young:
Taking them to the park and helping them climb a slide and push them on the swings.
Watching ‘Postman Pat’ on the TV with them in the morning.
All 3 of us going on bike rides together in the summer.
Walking them to school.
Taking them swimming in the baby pool.
Buying proper toys that they got excited about on Christmas morning.
Sticking their artwork on the fridge.
Going on a school trip as a parent.
Getting their feet measured for their first pair of shoes.
Receiving a Mothers’ Day card from their primary school they had made. (I’ve still got them all)
Taking them to feed the ducks in their pushchairs.
Teaching them to read their first picture books.
Giving them a chocolate button for the first time and watching their face light up.
Keeping the first baby tooth.
Helping then learn one line on a piece of paper for a whole week then seeing them remember and speak it in the assembly at school. This is a very proud moment for any parent.
And going to their first sports day and cheering then on to win a race.
I could actually go on and on for a long time but I won’t. The memories are locked safely in my heart. I miss those times very much. Looking back now, I know it was tiring, sometimes difficult and on particular days the tantrums and crying were just too much, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
So, in essence, the sentence she wrote to me has proved true, ‘Treasure every moment because it goes so fast’, and it certainly has. X