I have lost track of the number of posts I have made about Charlie growing up, far too fast.
Especially at the holidays, I am reminded of how swiftly childhood passes. Kissable chubby toddler cheeks turn to stubble before our eyes. The Lego catalog used to arrive, and become worn from the shopping. Christmas day was filled with tiny pieces littering the living room floor, as hours were poured into making new things, with only a stop for a cookie.
December behavior was held in check by the little blue elf, seemingly with eyes everywhere, ready to report back to Santa. And the December days were too long for my little boy, who anxiously awaited the next day to open on the countdown calendar.
December days now seem not that much different than a day in November. Perhaps I suggest a hat or jacket more often, which is always ignored. Teenagers definitely have different body temperatures than a full grown adult. I remember dutifully packing the snow pants each day, for recess, stuffing them into his backpack alongside his lunchbox, and searching for his warm boots before the walk to the bus stop. Now he doesn't even tie his shoes.
He dutifully helped me haul out the boxes of Christmas decorations, but did not wait to help me open them, or search in delight for his favorite train ornaments. Winnie the Pooh and friends stay nestled in their tissue, he has no desire to have his own little tree in his room anymore.
I long for those December days of his childhood, the wonder in his eyes as he looked at the twinkling lights in the garland on the mantel. His joy upon finding chocolates in his shoe on the morning of St. Nicholas day (it's tomorrow, by the way.) I will still fill his now size 10 shoes, with the traditional treats, and hope that he fondly remembers what it felt like when he was 2, or 4, or 6.
He probably won't want to go along on our annual trip to Krueger's Tree Farm, http://kruegerschristmastrees.com to search for the perfect little tree for our small house. Or sit in the cozy warming shed, with a cup of steaming cider to warm him. He won't want to pose for a picture by the antique sled, or stop to smell the piney scent of the fresh cut trees. But maybe he'll surprise me, and 'do it for mom'.
I wish I had known. Fifteen years later, I wish someone had told me how very fast the time would go. Oh, people tried. Nearly everyone I knew, would tell me how quickly they grow up. And I really did try, to capture the moments. To rock him to sleep at night when I knew he should be going to bed on his own, to hold his hand a little longer as we walked down the sidewalk to the playground. I should have splashed with him in the water more, played in the sand box with him a little longer on a warm spring day, made more cookies together.
If yours are still little, hold them close. The chores will still be there, when they are wrapped up in their own teenage world you will have plenty of time on your own. And you will so miss the moments.