I was playing at the playground yesterday with my son, who is currently two years and nine months old. I was playing at a playground where I used to take my middle son, now five. I was looking at my little one – in my middle son’s old clothes – standing in the exact place where my middle son stood three years ago and thinking how time flies.
Children grow up quickly. This is not breaking news. They also drive us nuts. Equally not breaking news. But sometimes the latter clouds the enjoyment of the former. I was thinking about this after my friend sent me a post from actor and director Mark Duplass about keeping your kids’ annoying AF behavior in perspective. For example (and this may or may not have been happening to spark the sending of said text): when your two year old busts into the bathroom to ask you why you bought a new toaster and then hands you a snow sled. Do you laugh or scream? I believe Duplass’s point is just to remember in that moment – you’ll look back at these things “with wonder” in 2040.
Funny enough, I often think about this when I need to breathe through whatever chaos is going on in my house. In other words – every day. I tell myself they’ll all be out of the house one day and I’ll be the lady telling new moms in stores to enjoy them when they’re little.
Standing there in the park – in that longitudinal spot (and if you know me you know that I love longitudinal studies) – I couldn’t help but think about this concept.
I have three small kids. I was thinking while looking at #3 what my life was like when I just had #1 and she was this age. She is now nine years old. Having a nine-year-old and a two-year-old is a bit of a reminder of this every day. I think how she used to exist solely on my milk and now she microwaves herself oatmeal every morning.
I do often look at #1 and think what it was like having only a two-year-old. Besides having patients, less wrinkles, and energy, we lived in an urban vs. suburban setting in a one-bedroom apartment vs. a house.
My days consisted of taking her to the park by the subway and dressing her in girly, frilly, dressy things including her prized pink ballet attire (because as girl moms that’s what we do). We used to spend our days us against the world with Manhattan at our fingertips. No stroller – just a backpack, the MTA and endless opportunities.