Saturday, April 23, 2011

Growing Pains

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.


  1. You know, I can completely relate. Every year when I take down the Christmas Tree, I can't help but think something like "Oh, one less Christmas is left to spend with the kids" accompanied by a sad frowny moment. It's usually when I am cleaning up our holiday traditions/adventures that I have these thoughts. I guess it may be more related to the end of the event, that it is gone, never to return again and of course I didn't take enough photos....

  2. I usually get my sad moment when I'm lying in bed at night--my traditional thinking-too-much time. And I torment myself thinking about how much more grown up they'll be the next Christmas.