I’d just like it to stop here.

It wasn’t the content of the email that upset me. It was the sender. Her full name pinged into my inbox – it wasn’t shortened. It wasn’t the name that we use for her. It was the name on her birth certificate and her passport. Her official name. Her grown up name. The subject was ‘homework’ and the tone was excited. “Hi Mum, I handed in my Math Homework…I’ll tell you all about it when you pick me up :):):):):)”

An email.

My 11 year old is corresponding with me via email.

So what’s the big deal? Get over yourself. What a self indulgent, first world problem to have. People are starving, others have lost their homes, their jobs. Someone, somewhere just lost their mother. There are so many bigger problems in the world. I know all of this. But when the email came through, a little piece of my heart chipped. It didn’t break, it didn’t explode, it just chipped.

I wasn’t the only one. I forwarded it on to G and received his baffled reply. “We’re communicating via email now?”

I don’t want my children to get any older.

There, I said it out loud. You want to know something else? While I’m here confessing. I tell them, demand them, not to get any older. “You can’t be 9? Let’s not do 9, let’s just stay 8”.

I love their milestones and achievements but I’d like it to stop now. We’re out of nappies/diapers, everyone can hold a fork and after 10 years, we’ve finally traveled without a stroller. The physical slug is over and I’m happy to have said goodbye.

I’d just like to stop here.

It’s not like I was careless with the time I was given. I listened when I was told “they grow up so quickly” and “hold on to it, it’ll be gone before you know it”. I’ve held on, I’m hanging on, but I can’t control it, it just keeps moving. It’s racing away from me and I’m trying desperately to slow it down.

It’s chipping away at my heart.

I don’t want them to get any older. I like it just how it is.

How do I slow it down?

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  1. vegemitevix says

    Oh yeah I feel this one. This afternoon oldest daughter upset me. Youngest daughter (11) sent me a text from downstairs saying ‘poor you :-(‘

  2. That is too funny! No mobile phones in our house as yet so I’m clueless – do you have to pay for the “poor you text?” 

  3. I’m sorry to say but you can’t slow it down !!!  It is like a train on a never ending track that just keeps coming at you.
    It seems like only a couple of years ago we were bringing our little bundle of joy home from hospital and now she is finishing second year uni – where did the time go to ???  Enjoy it while you can.

  4. Kristin Arthur says

    It just dawned on me exactly why our parents are/were so keen to become grandparents… its like someone handing your babies back again.   Some kids look exactly the way their parents did at the same age – it must make them feel young again.  And, then they hand them back for the hard stuff which involves sleep-deprivation and other not so fun stuff.

  5. When you work it out let me know ok? x

  6. Years ago, I read a book in which motherhood was described as being, “very beautiful, but also very terrible.’  Didn’t get it at the time, but sure do now.  Oh, and we text each other a lot, too.  One of my friends whose son just left for Uni says texting is what has gotten her through having the first bird leave the nest.  S on #1 leaves to go back to the States for Uni in January and I’ve already checked out all the international texting plans and their costs….

  7. Robyn Kimber says

    Cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow, but children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs! Dust go to sleep! I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep.- Ruth Hamilton

  8. and so it begins…. Hold on tight, because you may enter into some turbulence…

    I constantly say to my kids the same – you can stop now… It hasn’t worked  yet – The eldest will turn 16 in Jan, then I have a just turned 13yo, and my youngest is about to turn five…

    I have actually found at times that texting/messenging/emailing have been a good way to communicate with the teenagers – especially when telling them to go to bed. 🙂

  9. My youngest is 4 and she wants to stay a kid forever (her words), she doesn’t want to grow up. Her solution – as long as you don’t blow out the candles on your birthday cake then you don’t actually get any older….

  10. Oh sweet pea, I hear you. I wrote the other day about just wanting to freeze this stage I am at with the kids at the stages they are at RIGHT NOW. Freeze frame.


  11. Naturally Carol says

    Oh it’s hard..but it doesn’t work!  Just try and act cool about it and maintain whatever relationships you can successfully and then one day they’ll be mature enough to have a real grown up relationship with and you will know them at their very best!

  12. Sarah-Jane says

    Oh I so understand wanting to slow it down – My 8 year old son announced this year that 3rd Graders don’t hug (big chip from the heart).

  13. Valentinavaselli says

    such a moving piece, Kirsty!First 3 months of endless breastfeeding and slepless nights made me feel I WANT HER TO GROW I WANT HER TO GROW, and now  that she’s 1 year old im already thinking time goes to fast :-S

  14. Kath Lockett says

    I honestly wish I knew. Then again, my twelve year old and I have just returned from three days holiday together in Basel and I’ve never had so much fun with a friend!

  15. JamesLittlejohn says

    you need to use the Internet to have your kids order anti-aging wrinkle creams. your welcome

  16. My oldest – 14, has nearly finished his second year of boarding school. The last two years have probably been the hardest years of motherhood for me even though I had very premature twins. I would do-over those years again if I could just slow down their aging. I only have two years left with the twins at home before they go off to boarding school too. I try to enjoy some part of each day with them even when they are unbearable. The letting go is the hardest part of being a mother.

  17. That’s the thing that terrifies me the most about the future. It’s something you have no inkling of when you open the Pandora’s Box that is “having children”. I can’t think of anything encouraging to say, apart from, we don’t lose them when they grow, we’ve just got new stuff to look forward to. But, God, I wish I could stop time! Some days I look forward to a house free of highchairs and strollers and other days I think “What a sad house it will be…”

  18. Absolutely. It’s unimaginable to not have them around. 

  19. Sandi – one day you and I will talk boarding school. Yep, the letting go is going to kill me.

  20. Is the cream for them or me? Either way, it’s a brilliant plan  🙂

  21. I had a day at home with Ms 11 yesterday, we went out for lunch and floated in between giggling teen (school social conversation) to “Wow, can we go and have a look at the aquarium” childhood excitement. I know what you mean.

  22. Yes! My Grade 2 son wants to do the kiss goodbye at the car before we get to the school gate.

  23. I’m stealing that for me!

  24. Oh – that is just beautiful. xx

  25. I do know what you mean.  I often think what life will be like when our little ones have grown.  But, having the benefit of grown up children too (eldest are 21 and 17), I love the friendship we have – proper grown up chats and discussions. Texting and facebook messages have helped enormously – especially when my eldest was traveling through Asia (scary time for me – fantastic experience for him).  I’ve started to console myself with the probability that when my younger ones (9, 6 and 4) are grown, I’ll have grandchildren.  That I am really looking forward too, but not yet!

  26. Awelshgirl says

    The sixty four million dollar question…
    I’m constantly wondering out loud what made my girl grow up so fast. She tells me that the Big Girl Fairies visit her overnight, and I’m starting to believe her!
    My only consolation is that each new phase also brings something special to enjoy, and if they didn’t keep growing up we’d miss out on that.

  27. rebekah dickinson says

    Everyday it seems we have to say goodbye to a part of our children, to make way for a hello to the next part. All I do, is take time to be in the moment and forget the future even exists.

  28. My children are grown now and now and then I long to go back and spend a couple of days in the past, with them at home, little, needing me.

    I don’t know what happened to the time. I swear it goes faster the older you get and it scares me a little. I look back and think, what happened? How did I get to live so far in the future already?

    Best thing, I think, is to try and live in the moment, not spend too much time always concentrating on the next thing, the next day, the next job, the next anything.

    Be present, and enjoy. I know you do already, so I guess I’m preaching to the choir 😉

  29. Oh yes, I so agree – I want it to slow down too.  Please let us know the answer when you it 🙂

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