When the first two of my four grandchildren, Christopher and Shai were little, the spent a lot of time together, since Amy babysat Christopher. While they were best friends, that didn’t stop the competition to be bigger. They kids were born just one day apart, with Christopher being the oldest, so many things were done at the same time or pretty close. These little competitions didn’t cause too many fights for the most part, but once in a while they did. Mostly this was if they both wanted to do the same things, which happened more when they were little. I remember once when the fought over who should sit in Shai’s car seat that had been brought into the house. It looked like Christopher got in first, and Shai didn’t like it, but then we will probably never know, since we didn’t know there was a problem until the screaming started.
They also competed over walking, running, and climbing, each wanting to be the best at it. The good news there, is that they didn’t usually need the exact same space. Side by side worked well when doing that. Mostly they were working to see who could complete the task first, and that first place position went back and forth. Still, the competitions didn’t damage their friendship, which is still very much in tact today. I guess it’s a good thing that those kids don’t carry a grudge over childhood tiffs.
The years have flown by so fast, and the kids are so close to being grown up that I can hardly believe it. The days of competing for top spot are long gone. Their interests are so different from each other that there is no longer a need. I am so proud of the teenagers they have become. They are hard working, and they pay their own normal teenaged bills, like gas, insurance, and car stuff. I can’t believe how fast they have grown up, but I really like the people they have become. I can count on them to help with whatever I might need, and they are great about transporting their siblings around. But the best thing about these kids is that they don’t mind hugging their grandma, even in public, and that means the most to me!! Many teenagers just don’t want to even be seen hugging their grandparents, but these guys are very cool and they show their love for me everyday. I am so blessed!!
Have you ever noticed how little children interact with other kids? They don’t have to be kids who are younger than they are, and in fact most often it is kids who are older and bigger than they are. It seems that at one time or another, those little kids all have to squat down to look up at another child. This comes, of course, from watching their parents squat down to talk to them. They just think that is how you talk to people. My grand niece, Siara was no exception to that rule. Even though she was, and still is, smaller than most people her age, she thought the proper way to talk to people was to squat down and then look up at them. It was the funniest thing to watch. She thought she was being such a big girl. For her, I suppose that time of people squatting down to talk to her went on longer than most kids, because she was so little.
Of course, those days of childhood innocence and childlike ideas are quickly over, as children mature and find out why people do things like squatting down to talk to a child. Sometimes I wish those cute little moments could last forever, but then we would not get to meet the adult the child will become, so I guess it is for the best that they grow up. I just wish the years would not fly by so very fast. When I look at this picture, and think back to the time when Siara was just a little toddler, it makes me feel a little bit sad that her childhood is over now. It feels like it was just yesterday the she arrived into our lives, the teeny little daughter of my teeny little niece, Chantel.
Today we are attending a going away party for Siara, who is leaving tomorrow for college in Great Falls, Montana. I’m sure the party will be filled with laughter and tears, since we are happy for her to be starting this next chapter in her life, but sorry for ourselves that this chapter is over and she will be leaving us for a while. Yes, she will be back a Christmas, and next summer, but that is simply not the same at all, and looking at the beautiful woman she has become, I find myself feeling very proud of her, and yet, still missing the little teeny girl who thought she needed to be squatting down to look up to talk to people.
I have been thinking lately about the passage of time. It’s so odd that when we are young, time just seems to crawl. We are so excited about the next landmark event in our lives, and like a watched pot, it feels like it will never happen. When we are in school and waiting for summer, it seems like the school year will never end. As we wait for our next birthday, it seems so far away. We can’t wait to grow up and head out on the next big adventure in life.
Then suddenly our school years are over, and we can’t help but feel like we missed something, somehow. Remember when it seemed like forever? When did that change? But, that thought is short lived and quickly pushed out of our mind as we excitedly go into the next phase of life. We are adults now. We can make our own choices, and we don’t have to answer to anyone…or do we? We have a boss, who we must answer to. Most of us have a spouse, who we have to at least consult about things. And then there are the laws of the land, most of which we follow without thinking about it, but never the less, they must be obeyed. Hmmm, what ever happened to that great freedom we thought we were going to have when we were all grown up?
It occurs to us that maybe we recall our parents mentioning something about such things when we were going on about how great things were going to be when we were all grown up. And then another thing our parents told us about happens. Remember them saying that time flies? Suddenly it is doing just that. It seems like Christmas was just here, and suddenly it is back. The years fly by and you can’t believe that it is the year 2011, and then 2012, and 2013…wait…slow down! Somebody put on the brakes! Everything is moving so fast! Our babies are growing up and having babies, who are growing up and having babies. Before we know it, we have become our great grandparents, and we look back and think, “Where have the years gone. It seems like only yesterday that I couldn’t wait to be…all grown up.”
Two of my grandchildren will turn 15 at the end of this month. As I reflect on how quickly the years have flown by, I think back on my own childrens’ youth. When your children are small, you think it will be forever before they drive, date, get married, and have children, much less have children of driving age. But when you look back on those years from this side of life, those years seem like it was all just last week.
I remember the day each of my daughters was born. The miracle of life placed into my arms. It was so hard to believe that they were mine. Those days that I thought would last forever, quickly melted into their grade school years, filled with room mother duties, and throat cultures, field trips and sports. Again, I was lulled into the belief that those days would last forever, but before I knew it they were in junior high and then high school. Soon came that all important birthday when they would start to learn to drive and begin dating. They had turned 15.
By this time I was beginning to realize that it was not going to be very long before the next big changes would enter our lives, because time goes by so quickly. Their school years were over in the blink of an eye, and before I knew it we were planning weddings and adjusting to being empty nesters.
Then came the days when my girls told me they were having babies. My girls, who were born eleven months apart, were both pregnant at the same time, and before I knew it, I became a grandmother twice in two days. Those were two beautiful days. The next two and a half years would bring two more grandchildren, and we thought we would have babies around for a long time.
But, once again, I look back on those years, now flown so quickly by, and think, “It seems like it was just last week that they were born.” Before we know it, they will be married and having babies of their own. And yes, we will again be lulled into thinking those years will last forever, but in our heart of hearts, we will know the these children too, will be so quickly grown, as the years melt away, into the future that will be theirs.