Enjoy them . . . !! It all goes so fast . . . .

kitchencrazychrisDecember 2, 2005

As I was getting out our Christmas decorations, and putting up our creche, I thought back to the days when that was one of the things that DS really, really liked doing !!! And, oh my, how interestingly it all was arranged !! We had sheep and cows on the roof of the manger -- the whole configuraton changed daily !!! And today, . . . all the pieces are in their "proper" places -- once in place, it stays in place until it's packed away.

Point of the story is . . . time goes so fast. It doesn't seem all that long ago when the sheep and cows were on the roof !! And here we are today ..... dealing with college applications !!

I don't want to sound preachy or anything, but I just want to impress upon everyone ...... really, really enjoy your children !! Don't be too busy for them -- "things" can wait, children grow up !! I enjoyed every minute of DS --

even the trying times . . . I always put down what I was doing if he needed me, wanted to talk, etc.

And so now, as we are dealing with these college apps., I can honestly say that although the years went way too fast, that I have no regrets for things I "should have done" --

because I did them. I let the cows be on the roof !! among a lot of other things !!! Really sweet, special times !!

Maybe I'll have to put the cows on the roof again for memories sake !!!

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I'm so glad you posted this. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. My son is 10 and is in his last year of elementary school - and I'm suddenly realizing it's the end of an era. I am so incredibly sad about this. It seems like only yesterday we were deciding to have children. What the heck happened??

This is one of the reasons we are in the midst of pool construction right now. There is no more waiting for the "right time" - these kids are going to be all grown up and out of the house in the blink of an eye. Waiting for "someday" with your kids doesn't work - do it now, now, NOW!

Thank you for posting this. It is an issue that has hit home with me a lot lately.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 1:20PM
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*Sniff* *Sniff*

I think I'm going to wipe away my tears and go get a creche right now.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 1:59PM
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Oh Chris, so beautifully put! I agree, not a day goes by that I don't wonder, where the time has gone.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 3:31PM
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Thank you, Chris, for the reminder. And snookums, my ds turned ten this year as well, and it's also the year that it really hit me. Those of you out there with babies and toddlers, you may be wishing away time right now to get you through the latest phase (teething, tantrums, twos, etc.) but then the kids turn positively reasonable and enjoyable and so much fun to be around, and then *poof*, the time flies by.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 3:49PM
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Sometimes before I am quite awake I think my girls are about 6 and 8, and sleeping down the hall all tucked into their beds.

And then I wake up and remember they are grown and gone. There are times when I badly miss the two little people they used to be.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 5:30PM
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Chris--what a beautiful post.

I miss my 24 yr old dd so much and she only lives 3 hrs away. She was born on Christmas day, and sometimes it seems like only yesterday that she was a tiny girl. So many sweet memories.

I was so young when I had her and we were sooo busy trying to survive as most young couples are.

I wish I had had the maturity to enjoy every minute of her as I do my youngest children (who are twin boys--3 yo), and my other dd.

Thanks for the reminder to enjoy every minute. You are so right.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 11:50PM
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When DS #1 (now 13) was little, he would always rearrange the nativity scene and one day he told me "that's Joseph, that's Jesus and that's Mary had a little Lamb."

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 12:01AM
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Thank you for posting this. I need the reminder sometimes, even though I know it well enough that we recently moved across the country from pricey California so that I could stay home with my 3 year olds and spend more time with them while there is time to spend. Then we started this remodel, and I have been so busy lately - the other day one of my boys responded to me calling his name by saying "Mommy, I too busy!" and it just about broke my heart. . .I've been saying that too much lately. One more reason to be glad this kitchen is almost done. . .

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 12:03AM
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My daughter hangs this awful ornament on the tree every year. It's become a game now. I move it to the back and she moves it to the front. Yet deep down inside I know one day I'll treasure that ugly ornament that doesn't even look like Christmas but she loves it. It's a gaudy type of ornament and doesn't suit the tree but it's her favourite since she was a toddler. I'm glad that I've allowed her to continue hanging Ms. gaudy on the tree...


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 2:24AM
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I stayed at home when my kids were young; I enjoyed being with them but I also remember it being a time of isolation for me; as they become teenagers they separate from you and that's hard if you don't have other interests than your family....
Mine are 28 and 26 now; I look back at the younger years and the good times;
My son has a one year old son now; it reminds me of how much work it was but how special a toddler is.
So yes it goes fast, but those babies and children become adults that you cherish; it's a different time but you are always their parent....

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 6:20AM
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I feel the same way, I have 4 kids ranging from 30 to 21,youngest in college. But on Christmas Eve (all their doing) they sleep at our house and wake up on Christmas day and open their gifts. Now the oldest is married and second has a girlfriend so I have 6 kids sleeping over. I am a little nervous because I have to find sleeping arrangements for all these grown ups. My husband thinks its kind of silly cause they all think they are 10 and I wrap a few gifts for each but I think it is kind of cool that they want a tradition of their own to spend the time with each other and feel like they are children once a year. It is a lot of work but like you said time goes by too fast and I'm not waiting to do something or go somewhere, the time might not be there tomorrow. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 7:05AM
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catslikemice, lol, how precious.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 8:26AM
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It sure does, but I hope they never lose that twinkle that puts the cows on the roof. Just give him some time. Maybe you need to reminisce with him about how silly it was and how it brings back such great memories of Christmas past. If he's smart enough to go to college, he should figure it out.

My mother had a set of china letters that spelled NOEL. Every Christmas we rearranged the letters, on a daily basis. The most popular was LEON. My own kids started doing it when they were old enough to spell. They also rearranged just about everything else in the house, it kept my mother on her toes, and she loved it.

For many years my parents lived in a large retirement community. There was a small shelf outside each door that most people used for various holiday and seasonal decorations. I worked there for about 3 years, too. When my dad and I would walk around the community at Christmas, we'd see plenty of little NOEL dispays; if no one was around, we'd rearrange them in honor of LEON.

My son works in the corporate offices now, and visits a lot of different communities, all around the country - guess what he does!

Now I have a grandson, and I hope that in a few years, he'll take up the tradition. My sister has the NOEL and we usually spend part of Christmas Day with her, I'm sure we'll honor LEON for many years into the future.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 9:30AM
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Zshopper, I think it's absolutely wonderful that your kids WANT to be with you at Christmas time. In my family we were like that too and it's wonderful memories. Tell DH it's not silly. There is no reason why adults should not act like ten and be silly a couple times of year...it's good for the soul.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 11:13AM
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I agree, KitchenCrazy. We're also involved in the college process for my oldest (of 2.) I can't believe that next year she'll be coming home at Christmas to "visit." She'll be my same daughter but she'll be much changed having a wider world and hopefully lots of interesting people opened up to her.

One of my regrets is that I took lots of pictures and videos during their early grammar school days but not so much once they reached Junior High. Those memories are just as precious but somehow life got too fast.

And this college process....what a pain! Why don't these schools just automatically realize that we have the most precious children in the world and they should be applying to us to get them!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 11:48AM
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Oh what beautiful stories.

So here is the scene in my house today - boxes everywhere - dh having a fit with the lights (and he is an electrician!), me repeating over and over to my son "don't touch that...noooo your gonna break it..etc..". Well, after a while I noticed my son was very quite. I find him sitting at the base of the tree talking to the ornaments..."OH snowman, OOOOHHHH cat, mama treeee", and lots of other stuff I couldn't make out. I stopped everything and just plopped myself on the floor with him to "discuss" the ornaments. You reminded me that someday my heart will ache for these moments but also that we will create new ones.

Oh - and my house is still mess!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 10:16PM
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Chris - This topic really hits a chord with me. When my DS (16) was a baby I cut out a small article in the paper titled "One Woman Can't Wait For It To Be Over". It recounted the experience of the columnist with a teenage daughter talking to a woman of young children in a toy store before Christmas. She was frazzled trying to get all the gifts bought and "chores" done...and just wanted it over. The columnist recounted how she was now buying video games instead of Barbie dolls for Christmas...and how fast time flies!

I packed that article with my Christmas decorations that year and I get weepy every year that I pull it out and hang it on my fridge. It is yellowed and tattered now, but has always reminded me to make the most of my kids' Christmas', traditions, & memories while I could. They are now 16 & 13, so I still have some time! DD and I just set up our lighted village last weekend and she was so into it. I wondered to myself how many more years that would happen.

For all those with young kids, take the time to create precious memories even if the house is a wreck!!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 10:59PM
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I just got this in an email:

Before I was a Mom I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed. I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was a Mom
I cleaned my house each day. I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a MomI had never been puked on. Pooped on. Spit on. Chewed on. Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts. I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests. Or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.

I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.

And before I was a Grandma
I didn't know that all those "Mom" feelings more than doubled!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 11:41PM
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As I wipe the tears away I am not going to think about how much I need to do. I am going to call that DS who is a junior in college and tell him how much I love him and that I can't wait for him to come home for the holidays........

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 1:56PM
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Oh gosh, this has turned out to be such a neat, touching thread !! I read through the posts during the weekend, was waiting until this morning to grab a cup of coffee and sit down and "visit" a bit, but got a little waylaid, and am now beating the clock -- so will come back later !!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 11:04AM
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I have avoided posting so far- this is way too close to the surface for me. There are so few nights that we are all under the same roof anymore. Those mornings, DH and I get up and drink coffee and talk about the funny things the kids did when they were little, maybe secretly hoping for magic-that they'll tumble down the stairs in their jammies, with their stuffed animals, 2,7 and 10 again.

Don't blink. Don't turn around! You'll miss it!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 11:33AM
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We decorated the tree last night and, in keeping with tradition, played the John Denver & the Muppets Christmas album. I had tears streaming down my face during "A Baby Just Like You" - - I had to face the other direction to keep DS from seeing (way to kill the mood, mom!). I thought it was a lovely song when DS was a baby, now it reduces me to tears!

Artist/Band: Denver John
Lyrics for Song: A Baby Just Like You
Lyrics for Album: Rocky Mountain Christmas

The season is upon us now
A time for gifts and giving
And as the year draws to its close
I think about my living

The Christmastime when I was young
The magic and the wonder
But colors dull and candles dim
And dark my standing under

Oh little angel, shining light
You've set my soul to dreaming
You've given back my joy in life
You' ve filled me with new meaning

A savior king was born that day
A baby just like you
And as the Magi came with gifts
I've come with my gift too

That peace on earth fills up your time
That brotherhood surrounds you
That you may know the warmth of love
And wrap it all around you

It's just a wish, a dream I'm told
From days when I was young
Merry Christmas little Zachary
Merry Christmas ev'ryone

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 12:11PM
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Two of my kids were born in December, the oldest on December 23, so I know what Mary was going through for all those years! LOL

It's quite touching to have a newborn baby at Christmastime. Away in a Manger and Silent Night become very personal, and "sleep in heavenly peace" (or just "sleep") becomes a prayer.

Even now, 25+ years later, looking at them at Christmastime brings tears to my eyes. They are quite a gift.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 12:35PM
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I've enjoyed reading this thread. I set up our first artifical tree ever on Thanksgiving weekedn. This will also be the first year that we will celebrate Christmas without our DD. She got married this year and moved out of state. Because DH retires the 1st week of Jan, they decided to wait until then to come home so they can attend his party. I also had to pack up all the Goebel Angel bells that my mother has given DD every year since her birth, and the Wizard of Oz ornaments her great aunt made her. They belong in her house, on her tree now. But boy was that an emotional day for me.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 8:55PM
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My daughter will be 14 next week. The other day I said to her, Just think - in 4 or 5 years you'll head off to college and live a whole new life. She rolled her eyes and said, Mom, that's sooooo far away, you say that like it's about to happen tomorrow. And I said, it is, it is.....

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 1:38PM
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Just as I enjoyed every age I was but would not want to go back -- I've always been able to be happy with where I am at the given moment -- I've also enjoyed every phase of my life and am happy where I am now and look forward to the next phase.

No question I'll miss my kids when they move on (they're 15 and 18) and the sweet memories of when they were little are wonderful, it's so fun to reminisce!

But I also am happy that they are grown up and becoming wonderful young men. It brings me such great pride and joy to look upon them now and see how much they've changed and know there's more to come. I miss them as babies and toddlers, etc, but not enough to want those days back because I'm having too much fun enjoying them as they are now.

And when they leave and my house is empty of kids, it will be a time for my DH and I to have some time together and grow together. And I hope someday to celebrate my boys' weddings and have their kids in my home. But again, each moment is precious for what it is now and I don't think I'll ever look back and long for how it was before.

I loved every minute of my kids at every moment of their lives and look forward to continuing to do that.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 6:00PM
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I have to agree with you lowspark. I enjoyed every minute of my daughter's childhood...well except maybe those trying teen years! In retrospect it's all been good. And I'm looking forward to wonderful times, too.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 6:56PM
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I know that I'm going to wake up someday soon (after a full night of uninterrupted sleep) and realize that the DDs are all grown up. At this moment, I'm staring at the large curl of paper that my five year old claims is an ornament and hung front and center on the tree. I found two other ornaments under a chair cushion while they were in the tub. The two and a half year old keeps hugging the tree. We're trying to take lots of pictures, but it's hard to get the camera out before the younger one takes off the dog's collar and stops barking. All of these moments are so fleeting, I'm having trouble getting pictures!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 11:04PM
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scotland - - write them down! The words may mean more than pictures some day anyway.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 9:10AM
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Oh, I'm documenting. After all, I need some cute stories to share with their boyfriends! That and a couple of naked baby pictures should get them home by curfew!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 10:25AM
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Oh KKC! Thanks for posting this. My DS has that Playmobil Nativity set and he loves to play with it. The other day he was driving me nuts though. Just like your DS the sheep and donkey were in the "wrong" place, and I kept trying to correct him. Then of course, the pizza truck had to deliver pizza to the Baby Jesus. I finally just said OK!

But you just made me realize how stupid I was being. It's really sweet what he was doing, and so what if the sheep are on the roof? Man, I need to lighten up!!

He's getting so big......(sob)

P.S. Right now, he's going through paint chips searching for just the right blue for our front door. Because you know, it just HAS to be blue. I think I may actually follow his advice.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 8:15AM
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Well, the cows aren't on the roof, but the antique blocks that usually spell out Merry Christmas, more often than not are spelling something entirely different !!!! You'd be amazed how many words can be made from those letters !!!

I have so enjoyed this thread and everyone's posts --
really touching, and I would just say a kind of quiet
"oh wow" to myself when I read the posts from some of you that were caught up in the Christmas rush of getting stuff done, but thought of what I'd said, and took time out to sit and talk and play with your kids !! I loved reading the posts where the grown-up kids would all come home -- ZShopper, I think that is just so absolutely wonderful that all your kids - plus (!!) will be spending the night Christmas Eve !!
I think all of us at times try to re-capture the magic of our younger years !!! Heck, !! I wouldn't mind spending Christmas Eve at my mom's in front of the fireplace like I always used to do !!!!!!

Maggie, I loved the "Before I Was a Mom" -- and Paige, the words to the song -- wonderful !!

Re-reading through all these wonderful posts -- I kept thinking of the STRONG mom-child bond -- and all the so very similar feelings that we, as moms, share -- no matter what station in life we're in --

I was talking to a friend the other day -- our sons went to school together a few years ago -- she's pretty much the kind of mom that I am -- her son's an only child, and we've always talked about how all our eggs are in one basket -- we had our sons later in life (39 for each of us ) we both have said on numerous occasions that being a mom is the best job in the world -- that we really enjoyed every stage -- even those terrible twos, and the teenage years, which for each of us, has been really special. Well, anyway, we started talking about college -- and she said that the other day she was driving and all of a sudden it hit her -- that her job was almost over -- or at least as she'd known the job to that point. Said she burst into tears while she was driving. I said, that yeah, I'd thought about that too -- We'll always be a mom, but it will just be a different job --
It's not that I want to turn back the clock, just slow it down a little bit !! I just love seeing this wonderful, capable young man that DH and I've raised.
And I do realize that I've raised him to be independent and to be able to go out in the world and create a life for himself -- my rational side knows that -- my emotional side is having a hard time with it.

And the college thing -- oh my --
On the one hand, it all seems so very exciting -- on the other hand, well . . . just kind of hard to think about !!
Reading the posts of those of you with kids at college . .
tugged at my heart ..

Oh, and Ivette, let the door be blue !!! It can always be painted someday if you don't like it !!!!!! But, I think you'll probably LOVE it !!!!!

Just one last thing, then I really need to get going and get ready for "breakfast with the girls" at my house tomorrow --

The most joyous sounds this holiday season -- to me --
are the sounds of power tools in the garage -- saws, compressors, and who knows what all !!!!! Not sure if any of you remember me posting about DS's ulnar nerve damage --
Long story short, he'd been in chronic pain for months - had numbness in his fingers and hand --
wasn't able to do anything -- had to give up his beloved woodworking, constructing, etc. It was even looking as if he'd have to consider another career path, because we weren't hearing very positive things from the medical roller coaster we found ourselves on. His pain was so intense that not even taking Vicodin at night helped it, he'd stopped doing anything but the absolute essentials, wasn't really even talking about college. Fast forward to going outside our HMO, finding a wonderful, wonderful surgeon -- Surgery was performed six weeks ago, and DS is "back in the saddle" once again !!!!!!! Ahead of schedule, even !!!! He has essentially been given his life back !! And I feel that we are so very blessed -- the best Christmas present in the entire world !! Life is good, and to be cherished !!


    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 11:16AM
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omigosh momj47, we had LEON at our house too.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 7:32PM
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DH thinks I am being dramatic when I say that just as our twins came into our lives guns-a-blazing and threw everything into chaos, they will leave our house suddenly, at the same time, and it will be a dead quiet reverse-chaos. OK, they are 3 - I have time and shouldn't worry about that yet - but it is good to remember this thread on the Tuesday and Thursday mornings when I wish their preschool were 5 mornings a week instead of 3. . .

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 9:47PM
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Okay, our front door will be whatever color DS says it should be. Luckily, the dark blue he wants is FAR from offensive, downright pretty, AND coordinates with our Lacanche range!!
But will it be too nauseating to have a house with Red brick, white trim and windows, and a blue door?? Oh my! How patriotic!!! Luckily, our brick is more pink than red. I mean, I'm as apple pie as the next guy, but jeez!


    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 4:12PM
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