The Days are Long but the Years are Short.

The transition from being called mama, mommy, mom, and bruh.

The Days are Long but the Years are Short.
Photo by Lubomirkin on Unsplash

I'm not sure when exactly it happens or specifically remember when the transition happened but why do our kids especially my little boys, need to grow up so fast? Someone once told me when my kids were little: "The days are long, but the years are short." That quote resonated through me and actually made my arm hairs stand up. I didn't know why at the time I was so moved by those words, but now looking back, I get it.

I remember the person saying this to me as I was in line at Target. My 5- year-old daughter was having a little bit of tantrum over me not buying her another Polly Pocket set because, let's face it, folks, 199 Polly Pocket thingys are never enough. My son was around 2, and I was exhausted over him, constantly figuring out how to get out of the shopping cart. I had them in one of those toddler carts with the seats. Anyhow, my son was better than Houdini; he knew how to turn the oven on with child locks, open doors with child locks, pick up things like full paint cans, and throw them on the floor so hard that the top opened and paint went everywhere. I mean, there was yellow paint all over my garage floors. And my kids and my niece, who was over our house, found it funny, so they started making their hand and footprints all over the garage. I could never for one second leave him alone while he was awake. It became a ritual when I finally got him to bed to make myself a dirty martini every night so that I could calm my nerves.

After my son's traitorous toddler phase finally ended around 4-5, the sweetest little boy arose. He was my sidekick, everything he did, he wanted to do with his mommy. He would pick up dandelions when we were on walks and give them to me as a present. He took naps on me, cuddled with me, and he kissed and told me he loved me constantly. My daughter always joked about him being my favorite child, which for the record is false, but I can't help how much I loved that kid. This phase lasted a while, and I prayed it would never end. My family joked with me, saying: "What are you going to do when he gets a girlfriend?" My response was always something along the lines of: "he's not getting one or ever leaving me, right, Anthony?" He told me yes. And I took his word and stupidly believed my little boy would never grow up. I mean, an easy rule to abide by, right? When he was in 5th grade, I dropped him and his two friends off at basketball practice. When they were getting out of the car, in front of his friends, he said: "I love you, mom," My heart overfilled, and I started crying, but I waited for them to go inside to practice before I started ugly crying. I couldn't help it; I was just so ecstatic over the fact he still told me he loved me in front of his friends.

Going to middle school changed everything! I remember the beginning of the year; he still hung out in my bed at night with me. End of the year that wasn't happening. This was also the first year he had his first "girlfriend." They never hung out outside of school. They just called each other girlfriend/boyfriend. Even though it was innocent, I didn't like her; bless her heart, but she stole my baby. I stalked them anytime I was at the school, trying to find anything wrong with her, you know, like a real stalker. That's right; I'm not afraid to admit that I was borderline mommy dearest material.

Now he's in 7th grade and wants nothing to do with me, only wants his dam Xbox and friends. And oh my God, forget about hugs! It's like I have leprosy or the ebonic plague, and he must avoid contact at all costs. And kiss? Asking him for a kiss is like I asked him to clean his room- impossible. I think back now to when he was little and drove me nuts, and I truly would give my left pinky finger to go back for one day. When I think of the garage floor still covered in my kids' hands and footprints, I laugh, and my heart fills with happiness. It's funny, but the advice is given when something bad happens to you that you think you will never get over it. It's true- one day, you will look back and laugh about it.

By the way, I should mention I have 3 kids' I had another son in 2015; he's 5 now, so good luck to that one when he grows up cause I'm not letting go. As a mom, I smile and think yes. The days are so very long, but the years are short. I feel like one day I just woke up and my kids were big. You don't feel it as it's happening probably cause their driving you batshit crazy at the moment, but it's like a blink and the little boy who held your hand just cause he wanted to grow into a pre-teen that I have to bribe with V-Bucks to hang out with me.

If you're reading this and your parenthood path is just beginning, please take my advice (most of my advice). I don't know if a dirty martini every night to calm your nerves is healthy, but hey, whatever gets you through the day. One day you'll turn around and wonder where your baby went, enjoy the moments as much as you can because the days are friggen long, but the years are sorrowfully short.

Diana Doubrava
Diana Doubrava
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Diana Doubrava

Mom of three kids, wife to a wonderful man and father, rescue mom to two dogs whom I love more than most humans.

See all posts by Diana Doubrava