Not Ready


I discovered thrifting during the time I was pregnant with Captain Alpha.

How I loved going to second-hand stores and sorting through the bins of baby clothes, picking up impossibly tiny onesies and snappy pants. I would hold them up and look at them. 

“Aw… So sweet.” My voice would automatically raise up into the Mother range – that coo that is somewhere between a sigh and a squee. 

I would put the “keepers” into my basket and pile the rest back in the bin. Occasionally I would find something adorable in a bigger size – 18 months to 2 years – and I would opt to buy it. At the time, I remember thinking ‘It will take FOREVER before he/she will be ready to wear these.’

Little did I know that I would be unpacking those bigger clothes sooner than I would think – or that not long after, I would be packing them away again, outgrown. 

I remember looking into what foods I could offer him. He was ready for dry cereal and toast, cubed cheese, and yogurt. Small pieces. No big pieces. The first time he ate a whole grape, I remember my anxiety as I watched him. My brain raced, questioning whether or not I should still be cutting them.

What if he isn’t ready?

Around his second birthday. Wasn't that just the other day?

Around his second birthday. Wasn’t that just the other day?

He is not ready to play outside by himself.

He is not ready to walk to the store by himself.

He is not ready to make his bed or clean the car or have responsibility. 

Until – suddenly – he is. 

Little boys become big – so slowly that we become comfortable. We are tricked into thinking that the way things are is the way they will always be. Like the Earth rotating or the sun rising and setting, childhood encourages a state of constants – in our hearts, at least.

But the truth is, we are hurtling through time. They grow and change and are impatient for more.

The progression from tiny fist clutching my finger to singing Wiggles songs to playing Mario Bros. to discussing batting averages seems too short.

“Don’t forget you have a play date this weekend,” I reminded him the other day. 

“Mom, could you not call it a ‘play date’? It’s kind of embarrassing,” he told me from the back seat. “You should say ‘hang out.’ That’s better.”

“Sure.” I said. “That makes sense. Sorry.” 

He is ready for more.

Time has a way of playing tricks on us. Suddenly the tables turn and it is no longer him that isn’t ready. It is me.

So big. And why do haircuts seemingly add 10 years?

So big. And why do haircuts seemingly add 10 years?

Just like when he was ready for bigger clothes and peanut butter and whole grapes and BIG PIECES, I watch and fret. Not so much with worry – although it is always among my wondering. 

I watch with wonder and pride. And dismay. I no longer put things aside with the thought that some future day will never happen. First date, driving, graduation. Instead, I think “before I know it that day will be here.” 

Because just when I feel like I’ve got a handle on things, time moves on. And he is ready.

And, sometimes at least, I feel like I am not.

Are your children ready for milestones before you?

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  1. says

    Oh boy, do I ever know what you’re talking about. My daughter is almost 17 and has really made a big “jump” in her development recently. I just feel like I have to let go and it came out of nowhere. Or maybe I was ignoring the signs all along, but let’s just go with “out of nowhere” 😉
    My son will be 13 soon and is in his last year of elementary school – yup, big changes and milestones all around (and no, I’m not ready – but I want to be, because I know it’ll be good for them and for me)
    Kerstin @ Auer Life recently posted..Experience2014 – April Round-UpMy Profile

    • says

      I feel the same way, Kerstin – I know it is good for them and good for me and these are the things that should be happening. It is just hard to understand that they are here now – or coming soon – and I have to change with the times.

  2. says

    Almost always. It’s hitting me more with my oldest though. Right now I wish my youngest would just start talking and he refuses to accept that he is ready for that milestone! But at the same time, I know this is one of the last ones he’ll take is time with. And I time will just keep flying.
    Tricia recently posted..Lovely little things, 15My Profile

    • says

      It will keep flying. It does.
      I find I go in phases. Sometimes it hits me with my youngest, then my oldest. I know when they both go to school in September it will hit me with both at the same time. That should be interesting. :)

  3. says

    That two-year-old photo of me is making me squeal. SO CUTE.
    And I have been wondering lately when the term “play date” goes away. I guess I have my answer now!
    My kids are often ready before me, but still very cautious and shy most of the time too.
    Tamara recently posted..Always Full Of Surprises.My Profile

  4. says

    Like you, my kids remind me that they are too young for some things that I hold on to. But then, just when I’m ready for them to go ahead and do something on their own, they need my help. I like to think they need it, anyway. :)
    Andrea recently posted..Ten Things I Love About Mad MenMy Profile