THE BLOG

I Wish Someone Had Told Me it Would Be So Fast

02/20/2015 04:49 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2015
Courtesy of Mara Shapiro

I took my love and took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Being a mother means the passing of time is bittersweet.

When I was a new mom, I couldn't wait for each milestone. I was in such a hurry. I wanted my baby to smile, to roll over, sit up. To say Mama (but once they start, you wish they'd stop). I was so eager for first steps, toilet training, playdates, nursery school. I couldn't wait until number three was in kindergarten because then I'd have a WHOLE THREE HOURS with no kids at home. Then grade 3, grade 6, graduation! High school, graduation! University applications, dorm shopping.

It was all so exciting.

I was in a rush.

But now, it's going too fast.

Too fast.

I seem to have timed my babies to torment myself. Three in five years meant that this house was a cacophony of sounds and smells and socks and puke and friends and parties and programs and screaming and FUN all the time. There was always something going on.

And then nothing. All of a sudden, it's almost over.

This year I've got one turning 21, another turning 16. And then, at the end of January, my middle boy, the sweet, lovely, kind-hearted reincarnation of my grandfather and replica of my father, turned 19.

Too fast.

Last September I released him into the wild. I sent him off to university. You'd think it would be easier the second time, and I guess it was. I don't cry every time I take leave of him at the dorm like I did with his sister (a circumstance that mortified and gratified her all at once).

He's spreading his wings which is so exciting to watch. And scary for me too because I'm not ready for him (or any of my children) to not NEED me. He's SO his own person, and an interesting one at that. I worry about him because he's too caring and too kind and he thinks too much. I know how that feels, to be sure. Being like us can be difficult. When he's not with me I can't shield his pain, talk him down and through and out the tunnels.

These milestones. They're getting harder. I just want everything to slow down. Instead, we're moving at warp speed.

My daughter announced she's a grown-up when I commented on one of her choices (she has been for a couple of years but now she's starting to believe it). She's also becoming my very best friend in the world, the only change I'm welcoming. The 7-10 that it took to get my girl through adolescence seemed like a life sentence and I'm enjoying my parole.

My youngest keeps reminding me he's NOT A BABY (he's mine and always will be) and that he's going to be driving soon. He's counting down the days. I'm throwing out the calendar.

There's a boyfriend and girlfriends and then there will be apartments and rings and aisles and I can't stop the forward momentum no matter how hard I try.

I see wrinkles around my eyes and soon I won't be able to pluck out all the grey hairs from my brows without decimating them altogether. My body is turning into a potato, no matter how many crunches I do. I'm on the far side of 40, which if I'm being honest with you, I think is pretty sexy even if nobody else does.

My husband turns 49 soon, which means 50. I look at him and still see the 16 year old's swagger that he sported the very first time I met him. In 1982 -- HOLY CRAP!

Twenty years ago, I was a young bride with a young baby and soon another on the way. Twenty years from now I'll be the cool bubbie and a canasta queen (probably not since I can't remember the rules of any card game), offering chicken soup and homemade challah to anyone to anyone who'll listen to my stories.

It's too fast.

My dad said to me when I was obsessed with my little girl. He said, "Don't let your children consume you. Make sure you build a life for yourself outside of them. Because, when they grow up, they'll be gone and you won't know who you are without them."

I tried to listen to him. I did. I built the life, like he said.

I have interests and hobbies and friends and a strong relationship with a man I truly enjoy spending time with.

But if only I'd known how little time I'd have with them. He didn't tell me that. If only I'd known that it would be over even faster than it started.

Just slow it down.

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older too
Oh, I'm getting older too

I take my love, take it down
I climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Will the landslide bring you down
And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Will the landslide bring you down, oh, oh
The landslide bring you down

mara shapiro

Originally published on BeNiceorLeaveThanks.com.