One Family, Two Worlds

I stood on the sidewalk between two worlds.

I waved my Bigs goodbye as my Littles waited at home, playing. This is the point of my life now, two worlds within our own little family life. And it hurts, and it is difficult, and it is exciting.

This year I have been home with our youngest son. A few weeks ago, his kindergarten-age brother was home with us due to an appointment. Bearded Husband waited at home with the two youngest while I walked the oldest two up the street to school.

The seven-year-old immediately put his hand in mine, while the nine-year-old was somewhat surprised when I took his hand. “It’s not often I get to walk with just you two,” I said as way of explanation. And I miss it.

Daily I’m torn between the needs of the four.  The youngest two need more practical help and they all crave my attention and time. It is challenging to keep a

“You don’t have to walk us all the way, we’ll can do it ourselves,” said my firstborn and his brother nodded in agreement. It’s not far, this walk to school, but that day the distance across the field felt like a portal. It was the path leading to independence, self-reliance, and growing up. A world apart from me.

I was glad, and proud, and I was sad. I miss you.

I miss your little hand grabbing mine. I miss you needing me to help you with your zipper. I miss you running and jumping up to squeeze me around my neck.

I need to savor this time while they’re on the cusp of growing up, becoming too big to hold my hand. 

I returned home, opened the front door and immediately was transported into a different world. A world of of booster seats, endless games of Candyland, and snuggling on the couch with a picture book. Piggyback rides, and play doh, and bubbles.

I love that the Bigs start the coffee in the morning for me. I love when they empty the dishwasher without being asked. I love when they offer to push the youngest on the swings. Their sense of humour and the running jokes we’ve developed –  I love it. I love the young men they are becoming

But I miss it. 

I miss their small hands and the smell of baby shampoo. I miss the days when they could fit on my lap. But they are getting older. And so I will let go, but in increments.

That day, the day they decided to walk on their own, I stood on the sidewalk until they reached the school yard, waving every time they turned to check if I was still there. And I was, waving to my boys who were far enough away that they couldn’t see the tears in my eyes.

Tears because I miss it, but I love who they are becoming.

It hurts, and it is difficult, but it is exciting, always exciting.

Author: Jan Moyer

Embracing my inner child since 2005.

5 thoughts on “One Family, Two Worlds”

  1. Okay, you did it: I cried too. Child #4, my youngest, has just finished up her last Uni final and is home for a few days before heading out for a summer of travel. Sure, she’ll be back for her graduation, but my job here is done. I’d probably be more wistful, but grandchild #1 is due in the fall. Remember how we used to roll our eyes at out-of-control grandparents? I plan to be MUCH worse.

  2. Of course you had to go and make me tear up about my own kids. Where did the time go? How did it pass so quickly? So many moms told me that time works differently when you have kids but nothing can really prepare you for how you can blink your eyes and lose 10 years!

  3. My oldest two are 11 and 10. This is the first summer we have let them go to the park u to the store by themselves (with a flip phone), It feels like a breath of fresh air. Overall, I still find #3 intense and overwhelming. He needs soo much of my attention he almost still feels like a toddler I can’t let out of my sight. It is a relief when the older ones can be more independent and I don’t constantly need to figure out how to split myself four ways. My youngest is still full of hugs and cuddles and I hope he won’t outgrow thus snuggles anytime soon!

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