Friday, July 12, 2013

Don't You Ever Grow Up

I feel like I am in this constant turmoil between wanting my children to grow up and never wanting them to grow up.

My kids and I were driving around, running errands, with Taylor Swift playing. Her song "Never Grow Up" was on when Jill's voice piped up behind me.

"Mommy, what does this song mean?"

"Oh, sweetie, well, you know how I don't get to live with my mommy anymore? It means that one day you'll grow up and leave me and have your own kids, and we'll visit, and I'll miss you so much."


"Mommy, I don't want to ever leave you."

"I know. I don't want you to either, but you'll need to, and I'll miss you just like I miss my mom."

I guess that was a lot for Jill to think about, because the conversation ended there. And, honestly, I was glad she didn't have anymore questions, because I was crying.

I have trouble just imagining Jill being gone at school every day once she's in kindergarten. The idea of her (and then my other children) being old and living hours away and being hurt by people I can't protect her from and feeling joy that I can't share in is just really painful. I'm glad I still have over a decade to adjust to the idea, but I imagine it never gets easier to say goodbye to your children.

That experience was a few weeks ago. We were running a few errands today, and again the Taylor Swift CD was on.

The "Never Grow Up" song came on again. And, boy, I was not crying this time. Jill was doing something to Alice, Danny was crying for more of something, and it was just general chaos. Not a sweet, touchy-feely moment. It was one of the moments where you can't wait for them to grow up, so there won't be kids screaming in your car, and food trails throughout your house, and an audience every time you go to the bathroom.

So this time that the song came on, it made me laugh rather than cry. It was still a beautiful song, but there are definitely frustrating times along with all of the heartfelt ones. It was good though, because I needed a laugh at that moment.

It is hard work, growing humans, and I am so grateful that I get to do it!

Your little hand's wrapped around my finger,
And it's so quiet in the world tonight.
Your little eyelids flutter 'cause you're dreaming,
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light.
To you everything's funny; you got nothing to regret.
And I'd give all I have, honey,
If you could stay like that.

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up.
Don't you ever grow up.
Just stay little.
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up.
Don't you ever grow up.
It could stay this simple.
—Taylor Swift


  1. Precious. :) I'm glad you were able to have a laugh the second time around lol.

  2. Seriously, right? Parenting is the craziest thing.


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