No, not that Abby. I don’t need advice, I just need my daughter to not grow up so fast.
Lately I’ve seen you grow leaps and bounds! Despite all your threenager antics, you’ve proved to be very bright and inquisitive, wanting to know everything about the world around you. You ask lots of questions and Daddy and I do our best to explain to you things like our solar system and why it gets dark at night to how volcanoes and mountains work. But there is one question you keep asking us over and over that makes me a little sad.
“Will I be as big as those kids one day?”
Unfortunately the answer is yes. You will grow up and be big one day, though you view it as a fortunate endeavor.
Your eyes get so big and excited and start talking about all the things you will do when you’re big like the other kids, yet my heart skips a beat. I can’t believe you’re almost four, and as your mom, I’d rather time slowed down instead of speed up.
Your comments that really get me emotional are when we are at a playground and you observe that certain kids don’t have their mommies and daddies with them. I tell you that they are old enough to be there alone. You ask if one day you won’t need your mommy and daddy. I tell you that you will always need us. It will just be different, yet I don’t know how to explain to a three-year-old what that means.
Here’s the deal. I remember being young and yearning for more independence. I wanted to play outside by myself. I wanted to hang out with friends without parents around. I wanted to get my driver’s license and be more in control of my life. I wanted a job at the mall. I wanted to graduate high school, move on to college, and be on my own. But with all of these wants comes responsibility and innocence lost.
I’m grateful that you set goals for yourself, even in that three-year-old mind of yours. I don’t want you to ever stop that. But I also want you to remember your childhood. Remember all the fun we had. Remember all your firsts. Daddy and I watch you experience life at this young of an age, and we live vicariously through you, relishing in those simple days when a daily nap could happen, and worries about finances never crossed our minds.
You only have this one life to live, and we want you to take it slow. Don’t be in such a rush to grow up. You’ll have plenty of time as a big kid and a teenager and eventually an adult. And what I hope your dad and I can teach you is to never forget your innocence the older you get. Because truly you will be the envy of those around you as they see you enjoying life with whatever you choose to do as you grow up.
Most importantly, your dad and I are forever changed to have you in our lives. That we were chosen to be your parents. You remind us of what it means to live life to its fullest. So maybe I’m a little selfish in not wanting you to grow up so quickly. You help me to stay young. You help your daddy to stay young. And we want to make sure you stay young at heart always and forever so we can all remind each other that life doesn’t need to be so serious all the time. There is a balance to be had.
Love All Ways,
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