Life Moves Pretty Fast

I remember watching a documentary about childhood where a Dad said that raising kids is just one long goodbye.

Every day is a day you’re never going to see again. Every moment you look at your child, and see those long lashes resting on rounded cheeks, the inexplicably bruised knees, those eyes glinting with mischief in the sun – those are moments that never come again. Every day they’re taller and stronger and just a little bit further away from you.

Now, by and large, I’m not sentimental enough to dwell on such thoughts. But some days the passing of time demands your attention more than others.

Yesterday, I dropped Flea off at a residential PGL camp for three days. 

The camp is a 45 minute drive from our house (or 90 minutes, if you take into account my sterling sense of direction), and on the way there we drove through lots of villages I spent time in as a child. One in particular is where I used to go to walk our dog with my brother. There’s a lovely little canal, and we’d drive down in the evening, and walk the dog, and just chat idly about this and that. Girls mostly, as I recall.

It’s more than 15 years now, since my brother died, but it’s funny the way grief never really leaves you. I suspect everyone feels like this. It just sort of gets woven into you, and every so often, something reminds you that it’s there. It’s scary how time passes without us noticing. In a matter of months, I’ll be older than two of my brothers ever were.

And that’s the sort of thought that makes me want to hold on to Flea and never let go. To notice every day, while it’s here. There have already been so many days. And letting them go is harder than I thought it would be, if I’m honest. Way harder. Thank goodness for a blog, that prompts me to capture moments and notice them, especially when I might otherwise be too busy to do much noticing.

Because life moves fast, and Flea is already eight – old enough to be incredibly excited at the prospect of riding trapezes, building rafts and going abseiling. This trip also means three days of sharing a room with three other girls, and having no parents to tell them what to do. There will be orienteering and evening games, and friendships forged. 

I’m excited for her, of course. I went on PGL as a kid and adored it. I am sure Flea will have a blast, and trips like this are a great way to build her confidence and independence, as well as letting her make new friends and try new experiences. I wouldn’t want her to miss out on this stuff. 

But it strikes me that today Flea will be waking up with people I don’t know. She’ll be making friends with kids I’ll never meet. She’s writing her own story, and I won’t be a part of it.

 

 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

11 Comments

  1. Emma T (@ETusty)
    16th April 2014 / 7:12 pm

    Definitely things to think about which until it happens, it never really occurs to you that you’ll feel these things.

    She’s bound to have a blast, and you’ll love hearing all about what she got up to and the friends she’s made.

    • 17th April 2014 / 9:18 am

      And do the laundry. don’t forget the laundry…

  2. 16th April 2014 / 6:53 pm

    It’s not fair, is it? I feel them slipping through my fingers almost daily. But she will come home desperate to tell you all about it. And you will not do what my parents did and show how boring they found it. You will listen and enthuse, and hopefully that way she will continue to include you in her life as she grows up. And hopefully that will bring even more joy than actually being there ever could x
    Actually Mummy… recently posted..I’m a convert! Tips for a successful family ski trip.My Profile

    • 17th April 2014 / 9:17 am

      Absolutely not fair *stamps feet*

      But you’re right, and I will be enthusiastic because I am (mostly) enthusiastic about the whole business 🙂

  3. 16th April 2014 / 7:03 pm

    Oh my goodness, my heart is so full of this on a day to day basis. When my kids were babies it sometimes felt like it actually hurt that they were a whole day older than the day before. Of course the alternative is unbearable to think about, we want to see our children grow older. But it’s still weird to think that while they have such a starring role in our own stories, we’ll only ever really be a supporting role in theirs. But that’s the way of the world I guess.
    Beautiful post Sally, made me quite choked up. And I hope Flea has an AMAZING time. x
    Lucy recently posted..seasidy daysMy Profile

    • 17th April 2014 / 9:17 am

      I think we keep it in perspective most of the time and just enjoy the moment, but I suppose there will always be milestones where the passing of time is just more evident, and harder to ignore. Sigh.

  4. 16th April 2014 / 7:21 pm

    My two are at an age where every day brings a new word or a new skill and every day they seem so much bigger. It won’t be long until nursery and someone else having an influence over the people they will vecome and I am terrified and excited at the same time. Every stage seems to pass just so fast! X
    Bex @ The Mummy Adventure recently posted..5 Things not to miss on a Snowbizz holidayMy Profile

    • 17th April 2014 / 9:18 am

      I’m convinced it’s ageing that makes time speed up.

  5. 16th April 2014 / 8:55 pm

    Much like authors struggle with that difficult second book, I am struggling with this difficult second year. Every month seems to be getting, rather irritatingly, that bit more difficult. And is that because those moments that idly slipped away between you and your brother and me and my Mum now slip that bit further away? Who knows? I do however know PGL abseiling cured my fear of heights and canoeing turned my M&S white cottons a ghastly shade of green. My Mum talked about that for months. Years, in fact. I’m sure we actually talked about this in the later, more painful stages of her life. So maybe some of those moments do come back without us actually realising.
    Ruth recently posted..Making better connectionsMy Profile

    • 17th April 2014 / 9:21 am

      I think there’s a point where you start to realise that time is moving on, and you’re creating new memories and stories that the people we’ve lost will never be a part of. I find it so sad that my brother Ross never met Flea, for example. I think every birthday, every Christmas, every milestone is tinged with sadness – it’s less present as you get further away, I think, but the moments when you do feel it, then it’s much more powerful because what was just last month, last year is suddenly a whole gulf of time, or half a lifetime they never had.

  6. 17th April 2014 / 10:26 am

    What a lovely post. Time really does move so quickly and you’re right- there are many small things we never get back. That is absolutely one of the best reasons for writing a blog. I have family in Australia who have yet to meet one fifth of my family but they know her through the little things I write about x x
    Ghostwritermummy recently posted..Yellow and blue play: ice fish, water beads, jelly stones and lightsMy Profile

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