No One Tells You That You'll Miss Your Child Before They Grow Up

by Joanna Myers
Originally Published: 
Mother sleeping with her child in bed
Scary Mommy and Leon Harris/Getty Images

I look into my daughter’s sweet face, and it’s strange, but I miss her already. I miss her young self and these years where she is still my little girl. Where she still thinks I am someone to adore and spend most of her time with.

I know that we are hurtling towards the teenage years when emotions and angst start to rule her mind and I have already started to miss her, and I wonder…

I wonder how long she will still climb into bed with me in the mornings for a snuggle before she has to get up to get ready for school.

I wonder how long before she will no longer naturally slip her hand into mine when we are walking through a crowded place.

I wonder how long until she stops thinking I’m one of the most important people in her little universe.

I wonder how long before she stops thinking that my corny jokes are hilarious.

I wonder how long before she starts to get exasperated over everything I say or suggest.

I wonder how long before her friends’ opinions start to outweigh mine.

I wonder when she will no longer run from whichever corner of the house she is at when I arrive home for the day.

I wonder how long before she stops getting comfort from me playing with her hair while she rests her head in my lap.

I wonder when I’ll stop getting hugs before leaving the house, even if I’m just quickly running to the grocery store.

I wonder when the promise of a hot chocolate will stop being enough to get her to do extra chores for me on the weekend.

I wonder how long before going out with her friends is more appetizing to her than staying home and watching shows with her Mama on a Friday night.

I wonder how long before she stops needing me so much. Needing help brushing the stubborn tangle out of her hair, needing help getting her cheerleading uniform on properly, needing help with figuring out her math homework.

I wonder how long before I’m not one of the first people she runs to when something great happens and the first person she turns to when she’s hurt and needs some comfort.

Brian Marshall/Reshot

I wonder how long before she starts pulling away from my hugs (temporarily I hope, but I know that it might come).

I wonder how long before she doesn’t want me to come tuck her in at night and say bedtime prayers with her.

I wonder how long before she doesn’t beg me to volunteer for the school trip so that we can spend that extra time together on a school day.

I wonder how long before she doesn’t really care if I come to the class play or the holiday concert (and just a head’s up kiddo, I’m going to come anyways).

I wonder how long before she doesn’t curl up right beside me on the great big couch. There’s lots of space but she always wants to be squished right up against me and I wonder how long I will get to have that.

Catherine Douma/Reshot

There are so many “I wonders” as I watch my girl grow up. It’s such a hard and beautiful process to watch her sprout her wings and grow up and away from me in her independence. And right now, it makes me sad. It makes me want to grab a hold of this time right now with both hands and try to freeze-frame it. It makes me want to press pause and soak it all in and to emblazon these memories on my brain.

Don’t get me wrong, I know she’ll still love me as a teen, and as an adult, but it will feel different. It will be different. And I’m not ready for the change. The good part is that it will not happen overnight. It will be gradual and while we go through these years, I will cherish each of these things that she still does with me that I love. As they slowly drift away one by one, I’m sure I will find new and still beautiful ways to relate to my girl. New ways to connect with my teen or my adult child.

But I’m sure I will still be sad when one day she doesn’t climb in bed for morning cuddles anymore.

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