Just Like That

I’m sitting here in my office working on bills as if it were any other Saturday even though a seismic shift occurred in my world less than 24 hours ago.  Because life does, in fact, go on.
Twenty-two-and-a-half years ago, give or take, we welcomed our third child.  This was our second baby in just over a year, and we brought him home to a 2.5 bedroom apartment and placed him in the cradle by our bed, which we hadn’t even bothered to put away between babies.
We named this 12 lb. bundle of joy Richard Theodore because I’d always wanted a boy I could call Teddy, and the name suited him well as he grew from big baby to roly-poly toddler who filled out 4T rompers by the time he was a year old.
Teddy and the Teletubbies 2
Teddy was my baby for six years.  I developed extremely toned biceps from toting around my 75 lb. four-year-old.  He was none too pleased about the arrival of his baby brother, but he was in kindergarten by then and already building a reputation as the smart, academic achiever that he would continue to be all the way through college.
Teddy Zorro Birthday 2
You know the rest of the story.  The days are long but the years are short and all that.
Teddy (or to use his preferred name, Theo) graduated from college in May.  Yesterday I dropped him off at the airport.  Now he’s in San Francisco, where he’ll start his first professional job on Monday.
Right now I feel like posting a comment on every baby picture I see on Facebook saying enjoy them while you can they grow so fast but that’s not a thing that anyone really understands or wants to hear when their kids are fretful infants or whining toddlers or stubborn preschoolers.  I’ve read many a thread and post complaining about the meddlesome old ladies who say those kinds of things.  But here’s the deal:  we aren’t trying to be bossy or irritating or to minimalize the work and stress of coping with small children–we just want you to realize what we didn’t; we want you to fully experience the joy of what you have, because we would give anything just to have one more day of it.
Because twenty-two-and-a-half years ago I brought a baby boy home from the hospital.
And just like that, he was gone.
Teddy Leaving for SF

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  1. Kelsey Birchfield says:

    Oh, how true this is. Nobody sees it while they’re in the thick of it, up to the elbows in finger paint, piano lessons, extra-curricular events, etc. Then one day it’s all about jobs, engagements and buying houses with the wife. I know this journey.
    We’re embarking on college with #2 this year and I know I will wake up tomorrow and the curly-headed, pudgy, blue-eyed toddler I still see in my mind will be heading off to her real life, too. Big Mommy Hugs!!

  2. Julie says:

    ❤️ Mine are teenagers, but I’m trying to enjoy even the annoying – I know I’m going to miss it all.

  3. Lindsey West says:

    What a sweet reflection. It helps this toddler mom remember to appreciate now because my 22 years will be here before I know it. God bless your son on his new professional life in San Francisco, too; I grew up in the Bay Area.

  4. Adrienne Thorne says:

    My kids are little right now, but this still hit my in the heart because I’m sure I will experience this before I know it. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Elayne says:

    My baby is a year old. It’s hard to remember day to day….but before I know it he’ll be grown!!

  6. everydaythoughtsbybrittany says:

    Wow thank you for sharing your perspective with a newbie-ish mom like myself. My oldest is four and I already feel like time has flow by.

  7. Anni Harry says:

    Cue all. the. water. works!!!!! I just read this after a very, very trying ten minutes of Adoration. We lasted ten. minutes. And, Lil’ Miss was super happy, excited, and exuberant the entire. ride. home. I needed to hear the pearls of wisdom you wrote. Thank you for sharing this… you continue to be one of my mom heroes!

  8. My ‘baby’ is now 32 yrs old and has children of his own. Now I’m watching my grandchildren, age 5 and 6, grow up too fast!

  1. July 13, 2017

    […] heart.  But this past week my mission as wife and especially mother has been more on my mind as I launched one of my children into the real world, sending him off to start his first real job 3,000 miles away from […]

  2. December 31, 2017

    […] Just Like That […]

  3. January 7, 2018

    […] Where she really got me was when she started talking about her experience as a parent of grown children: “My empty nest echoed with the sound of regret.”  My nest is still quite full (will any of them EVER leave?), [edit: two are gone now, one quite far away.] but three of my babies are legal adults.  Without implying that there is anything seriously wrong with any of them–don’t get me wrong!–of course they have their struggles and I cannot help but think there were things I should have done differently.  I can’t help but remember how far short I have fallen–and continue to fall–of the perfect mother I just knew I was going to be.  I regret deeply–I can’t tell you how much–that I didn’t enjoy them enough when they were little.  I never heard that saying “The days are long but the years are short” until my kids were already big.  I wish I had.  It won’t do any good for me to tell those of you who still have little kids that they will be grown up before you know it but it is true. […]

  4. January 28, 2018

    […] are going to San Francisco!  Obviously, we are going because Teddy is there, and we will arrive on his birthday.  But that weekend is also the anniversary of our becoming a […]

  5. August 15, 2018

    […] PART II:  Teddy graduated in May 2017 and moved to San Francisco in July.  […]

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