The Little and the Big
|Pic Courtesy: Kalexanderson via photopin cc|
I saw a mom at the park recently with her little kids. Little legs. Soft skin. Bright eyes.
Her kids had them, too.
See, you know you're getting old when you see a young mom and she looks just like a big sister. This was at the same park I used to run. Marie would come too, and lap me. I went round and round, entrenched in my battle of will and personal-best times. It didn't matter when I started or where I was.
Just that I'm in it.
It's that way, with parenting, too. Ms. Millennial mom might be of a different era. She can follow a yoga instructor without mumbling R-rated words under breath like I do. I guess she has no trouble using that tiny keyboard on her smartphone, either.
My girls aren't little, but they're still my babies.
The youngest is 9, the oldest, 16. There's a 13-year-old in the middle. Birthdays are coming soon and
I'll have to update my About page when they do. Birthdays are benchmarks for where you are as a parent.
But the transitions are constant.
The things I could tell the mom with the baby on her hip and toddler at her side and tattoo on her foot.
The big gets even bigger...
You’ll see. Just wait until you’re buying twice as many razors so she can shave her legs, too. And him, his face. Just like laps in the park, post markers pass with a blur. Big-kid kids' meal toys ... front-facing car seats ... kindergarten ... chapter books.
Sports bras ... choosing favorite teams ... makeup. Instagram, nail polish and sleepovers. Smartphones ... later bed times ... club soccer. You'll see first goals and lunch detention and mistakes and friends made. Innocence and friends lost. You’ll see a princess put away her tiara to take the field and beat the boys.
But as they get bigger, as they sit in the front seat with dad and talk with him side by side and ask his opinion and give him theirs, you see things. You see your own views, filtered. You understand their thoughts. You see qualities that drew you to their mom in the first place.
The little, there’s a lot in that too...
I could post all about first goals and middle school transitions and the first day of high school. Playoff shutouts and church solos, or when a girl earns captain status of the cross country team. All these are beginnings, but they sometimes overshadow the ends before them.
Ends are big, too. They're the good stuff we get to see when we have our kids every day in our lives. Grandparents leave and lament missing all the little in between the big they see. The little differences are too subtle for us to see in the everyday.
Ends are trash bags stuffed with hand-me-downs. "No" to cartoon characters they once adored. Ends come when you realize they don't ask you to play UNO just before bedtime any more. When did that end? If I knew, we would have stayed up way past midnight that night.
With snacks. Lots of snacks.
|My dad, and my oldest daughter. The only one he ever met.|
You see most, if not all...
When you're a parent and you're so close to your kids, you see all the little. You get close to their faces when they talk so you can see and hear their words delivered with a lisp. You recognize the sound their feet make when they sneak out of bed too early in the morning. Or late at night.
You listen to dreams of playing the tuba or promises for what they'd do if they could only get find a hamster under the tree for Christmas. You do all this with equal parts hope and disbelief.
You see differences in last year's soccer and first-grade school pictures. When they hug you and their head rests on your shoulder, not on your hip. The day college is closer than kindergarten. At times you find more of a young lady in her elegant cheekbones than the young child in chubby cheeks.
You see these things every day, and they seem small. But they're not. You know better. They're part
of something big. You sense that even if you can't see it.
And when someone comes along and brings up the big, well, you can recognize it then, too.
When he isn’t hosting his cool friends as guest bloggers or lamenting days of lost plastic dinosaurs and Star Wars figures, Eli Pacheco writes the blog Coach Daddy. Follow him on Google Plus, Pinterest and Twitter.
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