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Enjoy Your Children While You Can!

Children Grow up Before Your Very Eyes

Where did those carefree childhood days go? How do our children manage to grow up so darn fast? Where have all of those years gone? If you have ever asked yourself those questions, you're not alone.

I looked at my son today, really looked. How did he manage to grow up behind my back? Yesterday he was playing on the beach with his bucket and spade and today he has a job and a girlfriend! I wanted to cry, in fact, I did cry, all alone in the bathroom. I felt like such a fool.

My husband will think I've gone mad if he catches me having a quick weep because our son has turned into a fine young man. I'm proud of my son; I love him to bits and maybe even more importantly, I like him. He's a wonderful young man. But I miss the child he used to be so much that today, when I realized I'll never see him like that again, it hit me so hard it was a physical pain, like a blow to the chest. I wrote this small poem to try to put my feelings into words.

Miss the days when your little kids would play with toys on the beach?

Miss the days when your little kids would play with toys on the beach?

My Poem: Jamie Becomes James.

When did night-night go and goodnight come,

When did Mummy become Mum?

What became of nursery rhymes,

of stories told at bedtime.

And tucking in with goodnight kisses,

of hugs and cuddles without hisses.

What became of water pistols, yo-yo’s

trains and model planes.

What became of helping bake

of tasting raw dough before the cake.

When did games and toys

give way to nights out with the boys.

There is no mystery greater than,

when did my boy become a man?

Those were the days.

Seems like only yesterday I was walking on the beach with my toddler son. Where did the last twenty years go?

Seems like only yesterday I was walking on the beach with my toddler son. Where did the last twenty years go?

A Time Machine

If only we could have a time machine that allowed us to go back and spend some time with our children. I know that I would pay almost anything to have another day with my children when they were babies.

Back then I never seemed to have enough hours in the day to spend real quality time with the kids. Shopping, keeping the house clean, looking after my elderly parents - everything seemed to be so much more important than just sitting on the floor and playing a game with the children. Or taking them to the beach for the day.

If and when I am lucky enough to have grandchildren, I want to take my kids aside and tell them that nothing, nothing at all is more important than sharing precious time with their babies. That time will never come again.

How can you make sure that you have enough of that precious time? Well, there are a few tricks that you can employ. If you are cooking a meal from scratch one day, make enough to freeze another portion for a later date. Get the children to help you cook and you have not only made dinner but spent some quality time with them as well.

Don't feel too guilty about ready meals, there are some very good ones available now and if you add a bag of ready-mixed salad and some quality bread to a frozen lasagne no one will ever know you didn't spend hours in the kitchen.

Never be too proud to accept help, if a family member offers to cook or clean for you say: yes, please! You can return the favor at a later date.

When it comes to cleaning - If there are rooms in the house that you don't use on a day-to-day basis, then give them a good clean and then shut them up and forget about them for a while. If you have kids then your house is going to get messy, just accept that fact and life will get a whole lot easier.

Now that my youngest is about to fly the nest and set off to university, my house has never looked so clean and tidy, and, nice as it is to have a very clean house I do miss the mess sometimes.

Stay happy and the chances are your kids will be happy too. When you have small children it is a great time for you to behave like a big kid - have fun playing games with them, you won't get an excuse to ride a swing or have a water fight many times in your adult life - enjoy!

Save precious memories. Take the time to put away at least a few of the many pictures, homemade cards, or pasta necklaces that you will receive over the years. Put the child's name, age, and a note or two about what they were like at the time on the back of things you save. My grown-up children often ask me what they were like when they were little and they really love looking through their childhood pictures.

Start a memory box when you have your first baby. Take lots of pictures.

The most important thing to remember when you start a family is that your life will never be the same again. Accept the change. There really isn't anything you can do about it and in this case, change is good.

Grown up Children Can Enjoy Family Holidays too

Try to get the whole family together for at least one holiday every so often. It is amazing how fast memories come flooding back when you are all walking along a well-loved beach.

In our family, we always had at least a week each year in our favorite place, New Quay in West Wales.

A beautiful little fishing village with fine golden sand and dolphins swimming in the bay.

Even saying the name takes me right back in time and I can see the children as they were then, my own private time machine taking me back to those carefree childhood days.

Maybe Those Days Aren't Gone After all

I can remember my mother telling me something years ago when I was getting a bit annoyed with her for trying to tell me what to do. I told her that I was thirty years old with a family of my own and she replied: I don't care how old you are, you're still my little girl.

I say the same thing to my kids now: if I live to be a hundred they will always be my babies. Perhaps that is a sort of time machine, we can keep our children alive and small in our hearts and our memories. Enjoying their adult selves but keeping the younger versions safe too.

And I've found that it doesn't matter how old your children are, they can still enjoy the simple pleasure of a picnic or making a daisy chain.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Galaxy Harvey


Galaxy Harvey (author) from United Kingdom on May 13, 2010:

Time spent with our children is so precious, those far too short years will never come again. Thank you for the comment.

MotherHubber from Southern California on May 13, 2010:

I enjoyed this. My son is 6 going on 7, and I try every day to slow down and realize the gift of his childhood. It seems that laundry and to-do lists often steal this time away. Thank you for writing this!

Galaxy Harvey (author) from United Kingdom on April 18, 2010:

Thank you, I was feeling quite sad when I wrote it.

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on April 18, 2010:

What a loving poem!! Beautiful hub!