Summer is almost here and school is almost out. It seems like I just had Amir, who is 4 and Anissa who is 6.
I know that my friends and acquaintances’ children are growing up but it just seems so strange when you actually realize that yours are growing too.
My friend Doreen comes to visit every six months or so and she brings her two children. I have a homemade growth chart on my wall in the office and I chart my children’s growth with notches from a black magic marker. For those who have not been to my office, there is a graffiti wall were people can write on when they come to visit.
It is so interesting to see her children and how much they have grown and then to realize that my own children are growing too.
Anissa is reading and from time to time, I will buy a Lansing State Journal newspaper and I will see her trying to read it.
Recently, she has been circling all of the words that she knows like ‘and’ and ‘the’. By the time I get to read the newspaper myself it has little black circles all over it and she will smile like she just discovered how to write the equation of the atom bomb. One squiggle here and another squiggle there followed by, “See Mommy, I am learning how to read the newspaper!”
She will then start grinning and ask me what all the other words are but I cannot see them so I start making up my own stories.
Yes, my children are growing up too, which means that I am getting older and feeling older.
When I started the newspaper, I could not wait for Amir to grow up and go to pre-school.
Now he gets on the bus and worries about the spot on his shirt that was made by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that he decided to break apart because I did not cut it in half fast enough.
Doreen recently visited and her son had grown the most beautiful curly brown hair all over his head. I wondered how a child’s smile could brighten up my day so much. I wondered how someone else’s child could grow so fast and mine seemed to always be my babies.
It hit me when Amir was explaining to me that today if you kiss a girl in pre-school you could get suspended. I watched him struggle with the words ‘inappropriate behavior’. I know one day that my children will not need me quite as much as they do now.
I hope they stay close to home so that when they have their own children I can send them home.
But for right now, I am all right dealing with the everyday demands of a 4 and 6 year old. My teenager, Gianni, who is 15, I am not so sure about as I watch him stare lovingly at the hair growing under his lip. And the girls, that is one thing I am not ready for but I know it is coming.
I will just be like my mother and deal with the issues of children as they come along. All I can do is love them and cherish every moment because I am realizing that children grow up fast.
Rina N. Risper