"Enjoy them while they're young...they grow up so fast". This thought often crosses my mind when I see a young parent out with their kids. "They'll be gone before you know it" is yet another adaptation of the same sentiment. Phrases like these are the common expressions of older parents whom, regardless of how long it's been since their children left home, are still bewildered and amazed at how quickly it all ended. Primarily because most of the time, while in the thick of raising those little ones...it felt like it never would.
Lately, however, such sentiments have become politically incorrect, especially when they are directed towards parents struggling with their kids. According to recent online rants, people who utter those words or words like unto it, are labeled as
inconsiderate and ignorant and are somehow now candidates for
water-boarding. Really? Yes, at least according to the "Actual Pastor" post of March 12, 2013 which states; I secretly want to hold those people under water.
Come this September, I will have somehow successfully survived raising three of my five children to leave-home-hood and will be down to my last two. And whereas I honestly can't remember if I've ever actually uttered those words to anyone, I know I've thought them countless times. Please believe me...there is something behind those words, that prompts their utterance. Something significant that you need to realize. These are not just empty sentiments. This is what you need to realize...I've been where you are! But on the other hand, you have yet to be where I am. I could stop right there. That fact alone is enough to make my advice tolerable. In other words, I understand first hand why you don't want to hear those words, but I also know why they need to be said. Let me explain:
First: As a parent of young children, the frustration of the moment or fatigue of the day that is freshest on your mind when you hear "those" words and subsequently want to explode, will someday be forgotten. Whatever it is that has driven you to the edge will in the very least, someday be funny if not completely wiped from your memory altogether. The regrets, however, of missed opportunities, harsh words uttered in frustration, or bad role model behavior ...you will never forget. At least as far as I can tell. They will haunt you at the very worst; constantly humble you otherwise.
What we are really saying then, is: it was hard for me too. I couldn't handle it all the time either. I wish I could go back.
Second: We're all on the same team here, just executing different plays on different days. You're not being judged, at least not by me. I'm too busy wishing you'd ask me for my help. After all, I am a grandma in training. Gimme your worst.
Finally, and perhaps most painfully, please remember... you are usually the one freaking out when a well-meaning wrinkled one speaks those words. We are usually the sane ones in the situation. That alone should probably give you pause.
So, keep up the good work. It'll be over before you know it.