Letting go of an era.

It hit all at once; 3rd birthday, the letting go of the pacifier followed by the disappearance of the diapers to the most recent giving up of the “nite-nite”.  “Nite-nite” was a term given to a “cuddly”. It grew out of our bedtime routine.  When we put our son to sleep we would hand him his cuddly and say “nite nite”. Soon after, he started to call his cuddly, “nite-nite”.  This term persisted even with our daughter whose “nite nite” was actually a small bunny blanket.

Discarding “nite-nite” was something our littlest did all on her own.  She had after all spent the summer with 6 of her older cousins.  Did she suddenly feel secure or was she trying to fit in?

Where did the time go?  When did she grow up all of a sudden?  All of these changes, I tried not to wish away the years. Not this time, especially as it is our last time. But it is easy to do: have those moments where you are tired and just crave for your child to be  independent.

I have to keep myself from calling her a toddler or worse yet baby!  She is our preschooler now.  With a recent illness, body wracked with fever, it didn’t stop me from cuddling her, rocking and shushing her to give her comfort.  Mr. Nite Nite reappeared with the illness and I think he is back to stay for a while.

In the past, I would pretend that I wasn’t sad when an era ended. But now, I will let myself feel the sadness.  The sadness of saying goodbye to the little toddler who went from quiet smiling, arm flapping infant to feisty determined preschooler.  It was only this summer that I chased her around the house endlessly just to see her “toddle-run”.  Priceless.

Despite letting go of one era, there is the welcoming of the new.  An era I particularly enjoy and vow to savor, as this is my last time to savor this one as well.  One where the tantrums subside and the conversations increase. You know the little chats that make your heart melt.  The ones that make you feel that your child is so edible and precious.

Before I had children, I used to hang onto every word parents told me: the good, the bad, and the heart melting moments.  One of my former and favorite nurses told me that she didn’t have any one favorite time period as “every developmental phase got better and better”. I have held onto this and savored each one knowing it will get better and better.

I miss the sharing with my friends… So I have shared this with you.



Now your turn, what have been your favorite time periods while your children were growing up? Have you ever wished the difficult times away and then regretted it?

6 years ago by in Health/Parenting | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
16 Comments to Letting go of an era.
    • Erica Allison
    • Rajka, we are on similar paths here! My daughter just turned three in July and as of about 2 weeks ago, maybe more, gave up her paci (not on her own will, but she did it).  I’m watching the toddler melt away and because she’s our last child, feel it all the more now than with my first, who’s now 8.  With my youngest, time flies and there’s no stopping it! Like you, however, I’m finding that I relish and savor my moments more now than I did before. 

      We were at a street festival this weekend. It was hot, tempers were flaring, melt downs were happening and yet, my little one, covered in sticky candied apple goo, looked up at me and said: Mom, it’s a beautiful night!  I thought I might just melt right then and there. What a love.  Thanks for sharing your story! I’m always up for that!

      • Expat Doctor Mom
      • Erica,

        We are on similar paths my first child (boy) is 7! I am so pleased the post resonated with you as I almost trashed it. I wanted to rewrite it but no time to do so until school is in full swing next week!

        I know just when you think you have weathered one too many tantrums, they just know the things to say. My daughter too today was precious all day despite prior days tantrums!

        Will enjoy sharing with you on our parallel lives in the future!

    • The JackB
    • My “baby” is seven now and in second grade. There are a few things that she used to  do that I thought were so cute and fun but have disappeared. Sometimes I miss them. Time moves so very quickly, one day they are little and the next….

    • Thaigab
    • Imagine how I feel now my “baby” is going to be 18 in 10 days time! I can’t believe that this is her last year at home.
       The teenage years have been wonderful and also trying- a real rollercoaster. I sometimes have thought that the teenage mood swings are there purely to enable us to let go of them more easliy, but as the time comes closer I know I will find it hard. I sometimes have flashbacks to the first night at home with her as a new baby (she slept soundly through the night while I sat looking at her willing her to wake up and have a cuddle) and think where did all that time go inbetween. Enjoy them while they’re young, you’ve heard it before I’m sure but it really does go very quickly!

      • Expat Doctor Mom
      • Thaigab

        I cannot imagine this at all… This makes me want to cry!

        But will serve as a reminder that the time does go quickly and that I should embrace, savor and cherish all the moments: good and bad!

        Our son was only 13 months old when we moved abroad. He is now 7 1/2! I ask him all the time, how did you grow up so quickly?

        Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

    • Nikki
    • Such a great piece, Rajka, really touched me and made me realise I need to listen to Oliver more when he’s chattering on and I zone out and miss stuff, he won’t always want to chatter to his mummy!  And he told me over the summer: I won’t need you at school now, mummy, we can just say goodbye at the gate (blub!!)…this has yet to be proven though as it’s not back to school til next week, we shall see how it goes! 

      • Expat Doctor Mom
      • I hear you Nikki on really being in the moment. Liam started saying to me “Earth to mama” over the summer. So now I am mindful to be in the moment!

        Oh no heartbreaking on saying goodbye at the gate, I am sure this is coming for us soon!

        Thanks for commenting! Love seeing you here!

    • Shellie
    • Love the post Rajka! I still have the wonderful picture of you holding my beautiful girl when she was born and she is now a 7th grader if you can believe that, where did all the time go? And as for my little man who I will always call my baby, he’s a 3rd grader who no longer wants me to walk him to class. I have come to realize that my desire to raise independent and confident kids is great but oh boy, when you see them take those steps forward it’s a struggle between being so proud and a moment of ouch for my heart. What I have also realized is at the end of the day, they still want to hug and cuddle and be heard – so I try hard to not see ‘endings’ but rather to see ‘changes’ because all they need is still there, it just looks different :)

      • Expat Doctor Mom
      • Wow your daughter is now in the 7th grade… Yes, where did the time go!

        Another one who doesn’t want you to be walked to class. As our son is in the 2nd grade, perhaps, I have one more year? Today he held my hand into school and I thought how long will this last. But then reminded myself to enjoy it.

        I love your perspective on not seeing endings but rather the changes and that it just looks different. A little easier on the “heart”.

        Take care,

    • Melissa
    • Well, I knew that post would make me cry!  With my oldest looking less like a little girl and more like a pre-teen, and my youngest trying to keep up with her older sister, I can understand why people choose to have another baby as their others become more independent!  I, of course, am not considering that, given my “advanced maternal age”, but still…
      I do miss the time where Momma was the best and most important person in the whole world to them, but of course it is our job to help them grow up as strong, independent individuals.   I, too, try to remember to enjoy every phase of their growth and development, as each phase brings new joys as well as challenges.  

      • Expat Doctor Mom
      • Melissa

        I had to laugh, I too am an “old” mama and will not be having another child… to enjoy each stage one more time.

        I know when we could do virtually anything and be considered the coolest… My son once asked me to make Qatar green after a trip to Singapore as he didn’t like all the brown! (he was 3 1/2 years old mind you!) If only I could make it green! But he thought I could which is priceless!

        Enjoy your girls and thanks for sharing!

    • Anonymous
    • Great post, Rajka.  It really touches on a big life lesson my husband taught me long ago.  He recognized the importance of not trying to rush into the next phase of your life, but relish the one you are in.  

      Were you the way I was?  Couldn’t wait to get to college, then couldn’t wait to get a job and make money, couldn’t wait to buy my first car, etc.  However, I learned from watching my future husband, that you need to really relish the phase you are in.  You will transition in time as life doesn’t let you stay in one place…no need to rush it and you don’t want to regret missing opportunities of one phase because you were anxious to rush out of it.  This was a “learned” skill (which I still work on learning) for me – not innate as it is for him. For me that has been one of my most important life lessons and it speaks to your message as well.  Don’t only relish each phase of your child’s life, but relish each phase of your own.For me, I am so excited that our daughter inherited this trait from her father.  She loves to linger in her phases; she is not too anxious to give up things she still enjoys just because other children have grown out of them.  And, like-wise, I am able to appreciate her not-rushing because of that lesson I learned years ago.PS – that doesn’t mean I don’t have the occasional warp into frustrated parent! :)

      • Expat Doctor Mom
      • Dear Mary Ann

        I was exactly the way your were: racing through life excited to get to the next phase never in the moment. This started to slowly change for me in he late 90’s. And I too have a husband much like yours who also just relishes where he is at the moment. Being around him has helped. However, it is easy to regress and not be present in the moment. I couldn’t agree with you more that it is work!

        Thanks for the reminder to relish the moment that we are in as well!

        Love that you shared, it is always much appreciated and what I enjoy most about the blogosphere!

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