parenting toddlers does end. and it is brutal.

he was called, "my cat"
he was called, “my cat”

Sometimes I find old photographs of my children & my heart aches for the day when they were taken. If I had a time machine, I would go back to the days when they were mine. My children are older now & have little use for me. I am upset for not loving my life more then.  I was too busy worrying about dirty dishes, laundry, the damn toys everywhere, finding sippy cups with curdled milk under the couch, the bills, being so so tired.  I was too consumed with all those things THAT DIDN’T REALLY MATTER because back then, I didn’t think it would ever end.  I was buried under chaos, I remember feeling overwhelmed.

UGH!
UGH!

I didn’t think it would ever end. But it did.

I remember when my son opened a birthday gift on his first birthday. It was a Rottweiler stuffed dog from my brother & his wife.  You would have thought the dog was real from the look of pure, unbridled joy on my son’s face.  His mouth opened in happiness, then the dimples appear– he took that dog & pulled him to his chest & snuggled him in deep.  My son named him Birf-day Dog.  My son didn’t put Birf-day Dog down for three years. He would bring him to every show & tell day…it drove his teacher’s crazy! I grew to love that dog. He brought my son comfort & companionship.  If we left him anywhere, we would drive back in a panic, as though we had left behind one of own children.  He certainly was a family member.  My son had a real dog.  A Siberian Husky named Blue.

born a month apart. My son called Blue his brother.
born a month apart. My son called Blue his brother.

At the age of two, my son thought he was the Batman.  For his 3rd birthday I painted Batman, with Birf-day Dog hanging from the utility belt, along with Batman’s driver’s license with a tiny picture of my son.

See Birf-day Dog? This is still hanging in his room. He is now 10.
See Birf-day Dog? This is still hanging in his room. He is now 10.

Here is my son & his dog in Arizona at a pre wedding luncheonDSC_0111 DSC_0119

The first photograph is my son carrying a Cougar. My son traded Birf-day dog for the Cat when he was four. He carried that cat around for about a year.  I grew to love him too. I miss those animals. They are still here. Twice a year we collect toys & clothes we’ve outgrown. Every year my son gives away more & more of his toys & stuffed animals.  But in his closet, above his hanging clothes, he has a shelf. This shelf holds his bedding & snuggled among all that softness are Birf-day Dog & the Cat.

My children belonged to me once.  My barnacles. I had the audacity to be annoyed with them for hanging about my neck. I wore out the words, “GO PLAY!!!” They are growing up into people. I am proud of these people we are raising. Looking back, i understand the process.  I was to snuggle & hold them tight & teach them…& then let them go.

Time is a bit mean, isn’t it?

24 Comments Add yours

  1. oceanstarr says:

    This was a good reminder for me. My girl’s almost two and MOST days I appreciate her like I should. Time is cruel indeed.

    Like

    1. 2me4art says:

      Don’t let mother’s guilt get to you on the bad days!! We all have those, children can be monsters at moments. So remember to forgive yourself when you get fed up! That is important too. And take a thousand photographs!! ~amy

      Like

  2. digitalgranny says:

    I love this and Ty for sharing your memories. I think we all wish we had been less stressed when our children were younger and mine are grown and have children of their own.
    I watch them in amazement as they parent their children.

    Like

    1. 2me4art says:

      Thank you. My kids are all still in the nest, but emotionally they are grown. Maybe that is why i hear of so many people loving their grandchildren. finally children at their best to hold tight & spoil rotten. When they are at their worst–its time to go home. ~amy

      Like

      1. digitalgranny says:

        Oh so true

        Like

  3. pdlyons says:

    lovely.

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  4. Always hug those wonderful animals!

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  5. What a touching post full of genuine feeling and familiar sentiments. Great piece of honest writing. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Amy Saab says:

      Wow, thank you so much! ~amy

      Like

  6. nonoymanga says:

    Adorable moment!!!

    Like

  7. Lucy Lulu says:

    I enjoyed this post and the pictures. Thank you

    Like

    1. Amy Saab says:

      Thank you so much for reading it, Lucy. Your compliment means a lot. ~amy

      Like

    1. Amy Saab says:

      Wow. Thank you so much, Tracy. Writing is not something i do often, because I can mangle up words pretty quickly. your compliment means a great deal to me. ~amy

      Like

  8. jr cline says:

    Reblogged this on Cracking My Egg and commented:
    This touched my heart. It’s sad I didn’t get it sooner. Now that I understand, I live alone. Life is twisted.

    Like

  9. jr cline says:

    It’s not mean at all it describes perfectly how I feel. God I miss those times and I miss hanging out with little Jesse. Thank you.

    Like

  10. a timely reminder as we are cooped up inside together for our second-in-a-row “windchill” school closure day.” I need to savor these moments… Thank you.

    Like

  11. kiwiskan says:

    beautiful memories. My children have long left the nest, and I wish I’d been less stressed when they were small as well…

    Like

  12. johnnybsgirl says:

    I suppose I am a bit odd in that I was always cognizant of the fact that my children would grow up and grow away. As one who has been there: hold the memories close to your heart, absorb it all! And … look forward to grandchildren! 😉

    Like

    1. Amy Saab says:

      Sorry this response took so long to give. But thank you so much for your advice. Thank you for reading my post. ~amy

      Like

  13. John says:

    A post from your heart. Beautiful. I find the old saying ‘time is the fire in which we burn’ very true these days.

    Like

  14. Reggie says:

    This is soo gorgeous… such precious memories, thank you for sharing them. I’d hold onto Birf-day Dog and the Cat too if I was you. Hugs!

    Like

  15. niasunset says:

    Exactly you captured me with your thoughts dear Amy, it is same for me too, and I think for more mothers /also fathers) should be same… I am so emotional one, and I almost gone into the thoughts and memories. My son, he is not a child anymore, he grew up, and he is going to get married soon. And I can’t believe how time passes and passed… he is still my little baby, I know he gets angry with this 🙂 Thank you dear Amy, you are such a beautiful mother and also person, the reflections on this invisible world I can see you like that. Blessing and Happiness, love, nia

    Like

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