Kindergarten Graduation: Time is Slip-Sliding Away

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Time is slip-sliding away!

What has happened to me? I was never the kind of mother who was sad when her kids left one stage and moved on to the next. I didn’t cry at kindergarten or high school graduations. I couldn’t relate to the posts about parents grieving for their empty nests when their kids left for college. I was excited about each new adventure and phase, always looking forward. Yet, as a grandmother, I’m different. My grandson’s last day of kindergarten is tomorrow, and I am feeling sentimental. When did my little, cherubic, curly-haired grandbaby turn into a big kid?! I am going to utter the dreaded words of the stereotypical old person: Why is time flying by so fast?

Our perception of time seems to change as we age. My dad tried to warn me about this when he was in his nineties, but I didn’t quite understand. Now I get it. As we age, we know we have more of our life behind us than ahead of us, and that leaves us occasionally feeling a little melancholic. We love to think about our good old days while at the same time trying to hold on to the now! Can’t our grandkids stay little just a bit longer? Why do they grow up so fast? I feel like my grandson was an adorable toddler just the other day, and now he looks well on his way to being a teenager!

One of my theories (that has no scientific backing) about grandchildren seeming to grow up faster than our own kids did is our lack of responsibility. If you’re in the traditional grandparenting role, you don’t carry the weight of raising the child and all the challenges that go with that responsibility. I get to enjoy my grandkids without thinking about school choices, chores, discipline issues, or any of the more problematic parenting tasks. When I get tired and want to take a nap, I send them home, a luxury I didn’t have as a mother. Time flies when you’re having fun, and I’m having such a great time with my grandkids that time is moving at sonic speed.

I also place some of the blame on Facebook Memories. It seems every day, Facebook Memories shows me adorable antics two-year-old Callister was up to or cute words three-year-old Callister said. Seeing those memories pop up drives home how fast he’s changing. It feels like a minute ago, he was teething, and now those baby teeth are beginning to fall out! He’s only five years old, but I’m already nostalgic for his baby and toddler days. I’m trying to grasp onto his childhood to slow it down, but time is sliding like water right through my fingers. When I first heard Nicole Nordeman’s song, Slow Down, I thought it was sappy. Then I had grandkids, which must have caused my tear ducts to malfunction because I can’t watch the video or hear the song without tears in my eyes.

Some of my feelings are morbid. I got a late start to being a grandparent, and I worry I won’t be there to see some of the significant milestones in his life. Some of my feelings are selfish. I am fortunate to see my grandson almost every day, but I know he wouldn’t even remember me if I were to die now. I do the math in my head about how old I will be when he goes to college. I silently calculate whether I will possibly live long enough to see him as an adult – foolishly acting as if I can control destiny.

Callister will graduate from kindergarten tomorrow, and I need to get a grip. He’s not leaving for college; he’s just going to first grade! He’s going to be learning new and exciting things, and it will be fun to watch who he becomes. All the versions of Callister, the baby, the toddler, the pre-schooler, and the kindergarten Callister co-exist in my brain as I watch him transform into big kid Callister. It’s been a fun five, almost six, years of watching him grow and discover the world through his unique perspective. I’m sad to see his kindergarten year end, but with each ending, there is another beginning just waiting around the corner. If that thought doesn’t console me, I still have his two-year-old little sister to experience all these things with again. Maybe she’ll cooperate with me and grow up a little slower.

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Can we just slow the slide of time down a little?

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Categories: Grand Life