Fleeting Childhood

childhood parenting

Most of the time, my kids don’t listen. And they’re messy. And gross (I mean, how hard is it to flush the toilet?!). And their insubordination makes me morph into a creature I despise. But every so often, they do something great, so I have to give credit where it is due.

Each year my kids begin asking me what I want for Mother’s Day a few days before the event. I always tell them to save their money, but come on, since when do they listen to me?

So on Mother’s Day (which was last week here in the Arab world), I received a couple of bottles of perfume and a bracelet, among some other smaller, meaningful but inexpensive trinkets (pens are, after all, one of my favorite things). But then, my kids took it one step further…

My oldest two insisted on taking me out to dinner, separately. I got two dinners (which really meant two days off of cooking which is one of the BEST gifts you can ever give a mom!) AND I got to spend some quality time with each of them. Without the noise (made mostly by myself) of ‘do your homework!’ and ‘clean up your room!’ and ‘hurry or you’ll miss the bus!’ I really enjoyed my time with each of them.

Although the gifts and dinner were great, what really struck me was that they put in the effort; they thought about what I might like, and they tried to make it happen. It means they’re growing up.

I know that down the line, I will look back and wish I had relished in their childhood more. I already do. I can’t believe my oldest is 15 and my youngest is 7. Where did that time go? There are so many moments I don’t recall. So many sleepless nights I’ve forgotten. So many milestones I’ve mixed up (‘did that happen with number 2 or number 3??’). And it makes me sad knowing I’ve spent so much of their lives wanting them to get over this annoying phase, wanting them to be more independent. Because the truth is, nothing moves faster than time. And soon, sooner than I realize, there will be no more fights about picking up their clothes or putting their toys away. There will be no more arguing over finishing their homework or studying for the test. And…there is nothing I can do about that.

All I can do, is pray I remember these moments. That I remember their morning goodbye kisses as they left for school, and that they cared enough to make me feel special on Mother’s Day.

May God protect, bless, and guide my kids and yours. And may we always remember all the moments of love shared with our children.

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