Sentimentality has never been in my nature. Or, if it was, it must have broken along with my leg in the 2nd grade.
Over the weekend, as those of you who follow my Facebook page and Instagram account sort of freaked out over Parker chopping off his long locks, I was just sort of…. meh. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED him with long hair. Sure, I’m his mom, and I think he looks great no matter what he does, but I’m incredibly partial to his hair being epicly long and flowing, but I shed no tears. I didn’t even do a good job of trying to talk him out of it. Laziness? Nah. It just didn’t bother me as much as it does a lot of other parents.
That’s not to say I don’t have moments of nostalgia. Things that I definitely miss from their younger years.
I may not miss late night feedings or not being able to pee alone, but I definitely still carry a torch for when they were so little I could still rock them to sleep and they didn’t yell “UGH! MOMMY! I’M NOT A BABY!”
There’s no part of me that misses shitty diapers of all colors and consistencies or considering only being upchucked on twice in a day as a “good” day, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the days where they didn’t know what a vagina was. And while we’re at it– I will NEVER miss feeding them from jars, cord stumps, or teething.
What I am, and I can’t hide it, nor will I try, is pre-sentimental. Which sounds far more like something dirty than I’d intended when I came up with the term, but it’s an affliction all parents have that has nothing to do with where I know your mind is at right now.
Pre-sentimentality is the act of becoming completely aware that things with your kids are on the verge of changing drastically due to age, or maturity, and wanting to freeze time so that they don’t. It’s knowing you’re about to lose something that you don’t want to lose, but you know eventually the day would come, so you’d just like to stop time in this place forever so you can keep them just how they are in that very moment.
It’s basically a long winded way of saying- NO! I DON’T WANT YOU TO CHANGE! CAN’T YOU JUST STAY THIS AGE FOREVER??
I’d far rather be sentimental than pre-sentimental. At least when you’re sentimental, you don’t know you’ve lost the thing until it’s already in the past. When you’re pre-sentimental, you can see that shit coming from a mile away and there’s nothing you can do to stop it short of getting a letter of Hogwarts and discovering you’re a fucking wizard with powers that make you capable of fracturing time. Not likely.
Pre-sentimentality has smacked me hard. I swear, no matter how I type this, it sounds dirty. Especially over this past weekend.
Much like when my sweet, innocent babies learned about vaginas, and way before they were so amused by saying it starting with an F as loudly as possible- FAGINA! FAGINA! or when they went from crawling to walking and you cried like the big baby you are about how your baby isn’t a baby anymore, mine decided to go and grow up again, flaring up my pre-sen like a mofo.
It was bed time. I was tucking my baby, my itty bitty baby boy, who just cut all of his hair off, and has SIX LOOSE TEETH, into bed, like I always do. I leaned in and asked him for a smooch, like I always do. And instead of obliging, he informed me that he would no longer be “mouth kissing”.
“I’m not mouth kissing again until I get married.”
After I was resuscitated from the floor after laughing so hard that I stopped breathing and nearly died, the gravity of his statement hit me. Parker’s always been a smoochy kid. He loved giving smooches. You didn’t have to ask, he’d just run up and smooch you. It was his thing, you just knew when Parker was around you were getting smooches, and it was lovely.
After I picked myself up off of the floor, because, let’s be very matter of fact here– he’s full of shit — it became clear that in the blink of an eye, my once smoochy baby became too old, too cool to kiss his mommy. Next thing you know, he’ll be asking me to drop him off on the corner and calling me “Ma”. Ew.
If I could have, I would have frozen time. I would have kept him smoochy and lovey-dovey. I’d have kept him little, and sweet, and innocent enough to believe he’s never going to kiss another person on the lips before he’s married. But I can’t. That’s not reality, and that’s the hardest part of parenthood. Knowing they’re going to grow up, and as proud as you are watching it happen, it hurts you to watch things change, to watch them change, too quickly to ever get comfortable, or to ever be prepared.
IT SUCKS. That’s all there is to it. I can’t tell you how to make it through, I just know that you will. I don’t know how… probably with the assistance of adult beverages. But we got this. Don’t we?? I’m not sure….. cheers!
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