Easter weekend is here, bringing with it our long awaited break from school and work. But in the midst of the fun and festivity that goes along with a major holiday, I am nursing a little secret. I don't know how many other moms out there share this particular neurosis or if I'm alone in my sadistic wallowing. The sad truth is that I tend to mar every traditionally joyful event by mourning the passing of my children's childhood. Each year marks such a new level of their development and I, for some reason, measure the passage of time from holiday to holiday. There's always a part of my mind that is occupied with wondering how long our child-centered traditions will endure as my children move closer to adulthood. Having a toddler in the house doesn't stop me moping, either. With such a large age gap between my two oldest and my sweet youngest, it's like living under a constant reminder of how quickly that time of pure innocence passes.
Before you go thinking I'm a spoiled brat who ruins every celebration with wistful melancholy, I have made great progress in shoving those thoughts aside. After all, I love and enjoy my children more and more as they grow. I am also keenly aware of the genuine pain experienced by mothers who have lost their children and do not get to watch them age. Taken in that light, I can more easily recognize my secret suffering for the selfish and indulgent inclination it really is. But then, I think we can probably categorize most of our neuroses that way, which is why getting out of our own heads and serving others is such a powerful antidote for our personal complaints.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go color eggs with my kids while they still want to.