They Grow Up So Fast

16 Feb

This week I filled out a “Schools of Choice” form for the very last time of Mr16’s school career, to keep him in his school for his senior year.  Also this week I was notified of the upcoming ACT testing and trotted out to the bookstore to purchase a strategy book that “guarantees a higher score” that will guarantee Mr16 admission to college and the beginning of his adult life away from me.  Things like this cause me to reflect on how I ended up here, today, when only yesterday I held him in my arms for the first time.

Do you remember when your child was born, and “They” said, “Cherish every moment; they grow up so fast?”  And there you were staring out into the vast future of your new life with this precious punkie, thinking, “I have YEARS and YEARS to enjoy this new little person!”  That was like, yesterday….and today that precious bundle of joy is 16, going on college?

Do you remember waiting for those “firsts”–like the first tooth, only to mourn that his cute little gummy grin was now gone forever?  A child’s life goes that way; marching steadily forward toward new firsts and growing up. 

I find myself caught in a whirlpool that lets me look back, see the present and look to the future at the same time, and sometimes find myself weepy.  Weepy over missing laying on our bellies coloring, weepy over pride at a music performance, weepy over college and the eventual “moving out forever.”

Right now, I’m struggling between hanging on to Mr16 for dear life and letting him go, all the while reminiscing: “Remember when we built things from blocks/read together/colored/had birthday cakes that were shaped like your favorite thing at the time/grew the mutant pumpkins/when it was fun for ME to be your Valentine?  When a kiss could really fix a boo-boo?  When a hug or a snuggle could keep bad stuff away?

That little boy that needed me as much as I need him is still in there, zipped up inside the young man with a beard and a life of his own, just like the cartoon.  I know this.  I know the best way to love him right now is to let him go out and explore on his own.  My logical self really does get this.  My emotional self wants to stop time and keep him close a bit longer. 

He’s talking of moving to California or Europe.  He needs to escape our Colorado cold and the local spring allergy season.  He yearns for adventures of his very own.  Not too long ago, it was me needing to escape the Iowa cold and humidity and find my own way.  Paybacks are a bitch.  I never went back, and rarely visit my parents, even now that they live in a warmer place. 

Thank goodness for new technologies like Skype.  I’ll be able to see his eyes when he says he’s fine and know for sure if he is or isn’t.  I’ll be able to visit with future grandchildren, read them stories and see them grow up even if I can’t hold them every day.  Every now and then I tell Mr.16 about how cool it was having my grandma right across the street when I was little……a little tiny guilt trip can’t hurt.  😉

Who knows.  Maybe he and I will share a second cup of coffee via Skype between Colorado and some little Italian cafe some day.  Maybe he’ll relent and live right here in town and we can share our second cup right across the table from each other.  Right.  😉

Zits comic strip by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman.  December 2009.

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6 Responses to “They Grow Up So Fast”

  1. Carol February 16, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Transitions are so tough…. the best consolation is getting to anticipate all the new “firsts” ahead for both of you and continuing to cherish all of the shared memories you continue to create.

    • secondcupofcoffee February 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      True. I have enjoyed every stage of his life. It gets more wonderful all the time! New transitions get me a bit nostalgic. :*)

  2. Croneandbearit February 17, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    Not having kids, I can’t speak to this except to say…the other night I happened across some pictures of Devoted Spouse and I when we were so darned young and just newly married and it hit me that 28 years have literally flown by. Yikes!! I’m working on cherishing every day now because we simply never know how many we have (eww that was depressing – LOL) Enjoy every moment! 😉

    • secondcupofcoffee February 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

      So true. Part of what precipitated this post was me searching for a silly picture of my sis and I in the 80’s (can you say shoulder pads?!) and ended up revisiting Mr16’s birthdays and Christmases. I’m glad he’ll be at home for at least one more year, but then I’ll have to let him go. Wow. I cherish every moment with him and with Dear Husband, as we’ll be left with just each other (well, with the exception of Pookie Cat and Sadie the Wonder Dog!) soon enough. Thanks for your comment. ❤

  3. Sue Knopp February 17, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    I’m right behind you on this one…literally by a year…my Ms 16 is a junior next year and chomping at the bit to get out of high school and all its drama and into college and all its excitement. I love the cartoon…soo true…and all those times we shared and I treasured. I was lucky enough to spend her first 6 years with her before returning to school myself and teaching…and have been lucky to spend all her summers with her. Toy Story 3 made me sob almost uncontrollably, but I also know that I will revel in watching her take wing, too. We empty-nesters will have to meet up in Denver from time-to-time to console ourselves. Thanks, again, Heidi, for touching my heart and making me smile!

    • secondcupofcoffee February 22, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

      Sue, we absolutely need to meet up in Denver sometime! Zach is planning on attending Mesa State right here in GJ for the first couple of years. He wants to save his college fund and let it accrue interest. He should qualify for a fairly nice scholarship at Mesa and plans on living at home to further save money. After that, who knows. Probably California–far away! Ack! 🙂

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