When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.
I had someone stop me on my morning walk with my dog the other day to ask if we were the ones she used to see running together last year. I said yes but we’re both getting older and have replaced running with walking. She laughed with understanding, and we both went on our separate paths. That was the “surface version,” but the deeper version is that this change and new phase in my life has been filled with quite a lot of grief and loss along the way.
Grief and loss often comes up for parents with all the transitions that we go through as our kids get older. Our kids are often in such a rush to get to the next stage in life, and as parents, we often just want our kids to stay in this current stage for just a little bit longer. Oh, the push and pull of what we want versus what our children want, right?
One thing I try to remember is that you can appreciate exactly where your child is today and still miss their younger years.
As my household is moving closer to have two teens in the home, here are some of the things I’m currently missing from their younger years…
Things I miss about baby’s first year:
- Meeting each other for the first time
- The first moment of eye contact
- Super slow drive home from the hospital
- First smiles
- First laughs
- Exploring their toys
- Noticing the family pets
- Learning to move their little bodies
- First foods
- Snuggling in the rocking chair
- Sleeping through the night
What would you add to this list from your own experience?
Things I miss about the toddler years:
- Parallel play
- Noticing other kids
- Reading together
- Snuggle bugs at bedtime
- Listening to kid music
- Disney movie time
- Getting to know their little (and big!) personalities
- First full sentences
- First I love you
- Discovering their world
- Running everywhere
Is there anything you’d add here?
Things I miss about the preschool years:
- Starting school
- All the why questions
- Learning ABCs & 123s
- Making friends
- Play dates
- Them reading to me
- Mismatched clothes
- Playing dress up
- A love of all things Disney
- Holding hands
- Their growing imagination
What are you additions to this list?
Memories from the early years often come up for me when the teen and preteen years get hard. A friend used to say, “little kids little problems, big kids big problems.” I’d actually say that when you’re in the stage itself, they can all feel like big problems.
I really love looking back on the younger years to remind me of just how far we’ve all come on our journey together, and how much we’ve all grown and matured, both parents and kids alike!