“Can I have a sleepover at *Tara’s place tonight?” asked my 13 year old daughter.
“Ma, did you ask Mali if *John can come this Saturday for a play?” asked my 11 year old son.
“Are we doing anything this weekend? If not, can I invite my friends over?” Frequently asked by my children.
I often wonder where did the time go. 5 years ago, our weekends are mostly spent together, unless my children are attending birthday parties. Back then, it was also easier to plan an activity (or even a movie!) that everybody will be pleased. It was simpler way back then when we can influence their choices. It was us who were in control.
Now, they are older and can choose for themselves in so many ways, their social circle is widening, and their preferences are somewhat different to mine or my husband it is time to step way back.
As I often work with parents with babies and toddlers I am always in awe of them. I often hear myself telling parents “Under 3s are the best years, it’s so fascinating.” and they looked at me like I came from a different planet.
“Seriously Anniebelle?” and I often respond with a teasingly smile.
“Yes, I’m serious.” Then I would explain that tantrums, fussy eating, whining, sleep deprivation only last for a couple of years (if you get lucky!). After that, they will go to Kindergarten, first sleepovers, school camp, Yr 6 graduation, then high school, and before you know it they are off to college or uni or decided to take a year gap and go backpacking!
It’s only 18 years our children get to spend under our guidance, and the rest building their own lives.
Look at your adorable baby or toddler and hug them a little tighter. Hold them close to you and just savor the moment.
Remember, they won’t stay little forever.