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Family, Parenting

Oh crap! I blinked

I’ve always been a little smug about all that unsolicited parenting advice.

Everyone warned me — sometimes more than once — that time would speed by, that Catherine would be all grown up before I knew it and I’d better pay attention.

Yeah, yeah, I thought. Don’t waste your breath, because I will never miss out. I will always be present. I will make the most of every moment, from diapers to cap and gown and beyond.

As usual, the joke is on me.

Today, Catherine brought this home from school:

Catherine, 16.

It is her junior-year portrait — light years away in terms of beauty and sophistication from even my college picture. You might not see all the promise and hope I do in those shining green eyes (you’re excused, after all — I’m her Mom, so I likely project).

But you’ll concede that it’s a remarkable metamorphosis from her 2-year-old picture:

Catherine, age 2.

It happened. I blinked.

I blinked and she went from toddling around here, dancing to Disney tunes, playing tea party and tending to baby doll Emily, to dancing to rap music, playing with makeup and babysitting the neighbor’s kids.

She’s worried about her hair, noticing boys, developing strong social and political views. She borrows my heels, makes us supper sometimes (and occasionally cleans up after herself), is navigating the insanity of adolescence, and learning the rewards that come with hard work and with volunteering at church and at our local hospital.

I love the beautiful young adult she has become, but I’d give anything for a few minutes of snuggling with the girl in the purple feetie pajamas, for one more tea party or cock-eyed craft project. For a romp through the autumn leaf pile or some snowy fun.

I’d give anything to turn back the clock and do it all again, eyes wide open.

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


8 thoughts on “Oh crap! I blinked

  1. Too true, Karen!

    Posted by Terri S. Vanech | October 2, 2012, 9:12 pm
  2. That’s why we have grandkids. It gives us another chance to enjoy little ones. And I do, so much!! Now we’re relaxed and can really enjoy them.

    Posted by Karen Waggoner | October 2, 2012, 6:12 pm
  3. Makes me which I had that perfect memory so I could relive each second and replay it time and time again. It is amazing that we remember the good, happy times and have quick memory loss for the pain of delivery and the frustrating moments of the terrible twos. Now I would give anything to have those pajama mornings back when the kids woke up too early and climbed into bed with us.

    Posted by Mary | October 2, 2012, 9:56 am
  4. You have spoken for us all Terri. It happens so fast that I can’t believe what age I am or more importantly what age they are. If only I could blink back wards.

    Posted by Grace Gormley Lyons | October 1, 2012, 8:44 pm
  5. WOW!!!! I’m really starting to get it now- for awhile I thought my babies would be babies forever but seeing these amazing pictures is throwing me into reality. She is beautiful.

    Posted by kelley lombardo | October 1, 2012, 8:37 pm

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