Stop the clock!

I’m jumping off the pre Christmas crazy train. Today I ignored the palpitations I felt as I checked and double checked how few days are left until Christmas. I resisted the urge to rush to the shops to continue to buy presents.

Today I decided to just be.

Yesterday my two eldest children returned from college. I waited eagerly for them to arrive, for I find a part of me is not complete while they are away. Nothing brings me greater happiness than to sit back and watch, as my brood banter, argue and laugh together. Lying my head on my pillow, knowing they are all asleep under one roof, is the perfect end to any day.

For many years I was lost in a fog of parenting young children. No guide book yet written

Before the youngest arrived.
Before the youngest arrived.

prepared me for the ups and downs, the sleepless nights and the worry, not to mention, on occasions, the boredom and never ending tediousness of everyday life. No words yet written adequately describe the myriad of feelings it is possible to experience in a given day, nor the way a good night hug and kiss can erase all that was bad.

However time ticks by and those minutes we do not notice passing add up. I sang the happy birthdays and celebrated every milestone, I even welcomed them, without fully understanding that each one brought me nearer to a different time.

A time when my small children were no longer small and no longer children.

Such a time has arrived in my family. As everyone counts down to Christmas I hear the tick of my mothering clock slowing down. There is a pulling on the reins, as one of my brood begins to ready himself for leaving. In less than two weeks he’ll be gone. It is not a permanent move, but it will be many months and a plane ride before we see him again.

I have nurtured and loved with a heart and a half, encouraged my brood to become photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/21872086@N02/3292842963">Philip</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>independent, to enjoy their life and live it to the full; to dream of what they want to achieve and to do what they have to, to achieve that dream.

As I prepare myself for that inevitable good bye I ponder on the twenty one years we have spent together and as part of me celebrates another part mourns.

I have done my job well, perhaps a little too well.

photo credit: Philip via photopin (license)
photo credit: via photopin (license)

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31 thoughts on “Stop the clock!

  1. I recently got back in touch with my daughter after nearly 14 years (in which time I only saw her once, at my mother’s funeral), and I’ve come to realise that there’s no way to make up for the lost time. I’ll never have memories of her growing up, but I am so grateful that she wants to know me after all this time and we are building a relationship as adults. As a parent I feel that the bond with your child is always there: I feel the same love for her now as I did the first time I saw her.

    She’s 18 now and an independent woman, and the fact that she chooses to be a part of my life even after all this time brings me so much joy that I struggle to accept the fact of it. I honestly don’t feel I deserve it, but she’s of the attitude that the past is over and done, and she wants me to share in her future. It means so much to me that she’s back in my life that I have the daily temptation to try to give her as much as I am materially able, but that’s not what she wants. What she really wants is me, not whatever I could provide for her. It’s difficult to accept that I could be seen so positively after all this time: all those years when I maintained my distance.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that no matter what, your child remains your child and even when they have built a life independently that bond remains. I know that when I went away to university myself I phoned my mother every week without fail. In fact that continued right up until her death: distance never lessened my love for her and I hope that I was able to make her aware of that fact. She remains the standard to which I try to live my life.

    1. I am so delighted for you. How fabulous that it was your daughter who instigated the contact. I hope your relationship goes from strength to strength.
      Hopefully distance will make no difference to our relationship. It will take some getting used to though.

  2. Oh, what a heartfelt post, a tear-jerker, Tric. You’ve done well, but it is hard to let them go, and the visits are never quite long enough. Have a wonderful holiday with your lovely family. Enjoy the whole thing and skip the stress. πŸ™‚

    1. No I don’t think it will. Sometimes the thought that this is the beginning of the end is a bit shocking, but then again there are a lot of highlights still ahead.
      I hope you have a lovely Christmas/holiday with your own family Beth.

  3. Tric, big hug! My parents used to always say they wanted to throttle people who were ‘dying for their kids to turn 18 so that they could start getting out again!’ I am now the same, as you know mine are all under eight, but I still think of times in the future when I’m not so busy. Hope you have the most amazing, crazy Christmas!

    1. Thanks a million. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how hard parenting smallies was and I do enjoy having a bit more freedom, but it is hard to believe we have reached this phase. It’s lovely for him though, this is life as it should be.
      Happy Christmas to you and your squad. Enjoy it. Christmas with young children is more than magical.

  4. What a beautiful post. So poignant. So many parents can relate, I’m sure. Do you have 8 children?? That’s a big brood! What a wonderful mother you are to them. They are very blessed, as are you. Wishing you a fabulous holiday season spent with them all! Merry Christmas Tric!

    1. Happy Christmas to you too. No I don’t have eight, only four, but I minded others and this was the gang who ‘lived’ at mine most days. The small boy on the couch is the young man heading away.

  5. That love will always be there only it grows and grows. Mine are coming in this week, one has been away for more than a year. I can’t wait. πŸ™‚ ❀

    1. I saw on you FB feed that you are all together again. How lovely. I’m enjoying every moment of this season and will continue to do so for another ten days.
      Happy Christmas/holiday to you and your family.

      1. Thanks, Tric. Everyone will be here (maybe) Saturday and I can’t wait. The daughter I haven’t seen in over a year has the flu and a virus. I myself am dealing with a new pain (Trgeminol neuralgia) and the medication. Yesterday I injured my right hand. The craziest things happen to me – I have a wild life, it seems.

        Have a wonderful Christmas, Tric. I look forward to reading about it soon. ❀

  6. This made my stomach flip. The thoughts that I’m going to blink and my kids will be grown up. It’s impossible to savour every second because, let’s face it, young kids can make you insane πŸ˜‚, but I’ll miss it with all my heart when it’s over πŸ’”

    1. Oh I agree young children are hard going and I’ll never forget that. It really is not possible to enjoy every moment. Then eventually we notice them growing up and only then do we realise that time is ticking.
      Enjoy your christmas. Young children really make Christmas.

  7. It’s one of those things that are bittersweet. My eldest will probably be heading off to university next year. Terribly sad as I’ll be to see him go, there will still be a part of me that rejoices (chiefly at being able to get into the bathroom in the mornings).

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