Things That Have Already Passed, Things That Are Gone

By Beck

This is a reprint of a post from April – hence the reference to Maundy Thursday – of 2007, and it’s incredibly poignant for me, reading about The Baby curling up on my lap. It’s already done. Sniff.

This afternoon, The Baby was hanging out being petulant and almost-two and I took this photo and suddenly there she is, older – this girl who will be here very, very soon.

Also: BOY, does she like Popsicles! And pretending to burp, and saying “HUP two FEE four!”. Good times, good times. She still falls asleep on my lap right after lunch, crawling up with a blanket and her sippy cup, all her compact self curled against me, her littleness and her sweetness. Her hair smells like cherry shampoo (or “PoohPOO”, as she told me the other night. Chelwy PoohPOO.), the two of us just hanging out, half asleep.

We went out for dinner tonight, a Maundy Thursday event hosted by our Minister (and last night I stuffed Easter eggs for a community egg hunt at a friend’s house. Yes, I am such a social butterfly.). All three of our kids were running amok – The Boy had a slight fever, not high enough that he was noticeably sick before dinner but high enough to make him slightly off all evening, poor chatty boy. The Girl was sullen and self-conscious, acting ENTIRELY like I did for pretty much my entire childhood, and The Baby was just a shrieking menace, so by the end of the evening – which ended pretty early, what with one of the kids being sick and all of the kids being bad – I had some fairly severe maternal embarrassment going on because my kids couldn’t even behave through one whole meal and feeling this nasty combination of guilt at my awful mothering and self-pity. Then we drove by the house I lived in until I was 7 and my daughter pointed out that there were little rocking chairs on the front steps, and my son said that they were their for goblins and cats, and I was so charmed by them once again that by the time we got into the house it didn’t matter that they were bad and loud and snotty and feverish because they’re my own oddball lovely children, these people that I’ve made. And also it was their bedtime.

Cats and goblins stay pretty much the same, barfing on the rug and scratching up the furniture and peeing on any wet towels optimistically left lying around. With children, though, you turn around and suddenly you see 20 years from now in their eyes, the morning when they can suddenly fit their big sister’s favorite red sweatshirt (with the sleeves way rolled up, but still), and it’s hard to know that they won’t always be crawling onto my lap at naptime, that this will pass so fast. I’m glad to see them bigger and smart and older but sorry, too, this weird nostalgia for my life right this very moment, this time I will look back on when I am very, very old and forgetful as the happiest time of my life, and miss the smell of cherry shampoo on a baby’s hair.

Beck writes at Frog And Toad Are Still Friends.

22 Responses to Things That Have Already Passed, Things That Are Gone
  1. christine
    October 23, 2008 | 8:59 am

    yeas, beck, you have made me cry AGAIN. great post.


  2. Courtney
    October 23, 2008 | 8:59 am

    So sad to know that they will always grow up. No matter how hard we try they will grow and they will become what we have molded them to be as children. The day will come where they no longer want mommy’s kisses in public or sunggles before bed and it breaks all of our hearts when those days come. This is a beautiful post.

  3. Nowheymama
    October 23, 2008 | 9:16 am

    Oh, I’ve been feeling this a lot lately. The change of seasons, the new growth plateaus. Sigh.

  4. Mom24
    October 23, 2008 | 9:22 am

    I have such mixed feelings–I definitely agree that this is the happiest time of my life, but that’s scary, isn’t it? Will I be content with the way my life is 15 years from now, or will I be looking back, longing? I’d like to give the chirpy upbeat life is what you make it…blah, blah, blah, but with having one grown, one almost grown and two younger ones, this really is the best. The other’s good, but very different. *sigh*

  5. edj
    October 23, 2008 | 10:03 am

    Oh this post made my heart hurt! They’re already so big, mine are, and I remember thinking when they were toddlers that I would always miss this time and I was right–I do, so much.
    But I LOVED the twist of pragmatism at the end of the next-to-last paragraph; “and also it was their bedtime.” That made me laugh!

  6. janet
    October 23, 2008 | 11:39 am


    Damn you and your beautiful writing.

  7. janet
    October 23, 2008 | 11:40 am

    PS You know I don’t mean the ‘damn you’ part, right? Good.

  8. Woman in a window
    October 23, 2008 | 1:49 pm

    ooowwwhhh. And that time she fell asleep on me, so light she was barely perceptible there. I know what you were thinking, I know what you are missing, and I can barely conjure up my own stories and I am sad for even this. I looked at a baby picture of my son about two minutes ago and thought, “I don’t even know that boy.” Oh god, why does that have to happen?

  9. No Mother Earth
    October 23, 2008 | 2:00 pm

    Crazymumma just posted something in the same vein, and now I am very sad reading all this. I refuse to believe they’re going to grow up. (Although, it’s the Little Guy’s birthday in just over a week..)

  10. Kat
    October 23, 2008 | 2:30 pm

    Ah nostalgia. You are a close friend of mine. I have a similar post for tomorrow. Seems we are all feeling it lately.

  11. Becky
    October 23, 2008 | 4:44 pm

    I have been struck that way when one of my kids asks a question that is so old for their age. I suppose as much as I complain about things now I will someday miss the shenanigans. Thanks for the great post.

  12. Candace
    October 23, 2008 | 5:22 pm

    I have learned to enjoy the little things and cherish them no matter what. Because they will not be little forever and I am realizing that all to well as I watch my 2.5 year grow up.

  13. chelle
    October 23, 2008 | 8:10 pm

    I so so enjoy these Classic Beck posts!!!!

  14. tracey
    October 23, 2008 | 9:57 pm

    Oh frack. You do realize that tonight is the eve of my youngest’s birthday, right? That I will never again have a 2 year old in my family again? That never again will I rock a baby or burp or diaper an infant of my own?

    Yes. I did NOT need to read about Baby’s growing up tonight…

  15. Angeline
    October 24, 2008 | 5:43 am

    Oh my, why are there tears in my eyes…

    that’s the mixed feeling of sadness and happiness for me…. soon, my time will come when I had to feel those emotions and say, “you are all grown up now…” to my boys….

  16. Nancy C
    October 26, 2008 | 4:50 pm

    I read this and it brings me back to this morning as I watched my four year old daughter in her pretty little pink flowing skirt and her ballet shoes… as I stood there gazing at the tiny baby girl in a mothers arms… I told my 7 year old daughter who was standing with me that she too was that small once. And I had to comment to the mom, that they grow up way to soon…

    I always think about these things and I try to cherish every moment, but sometimes its just to hard to find the time to stop and give them the quality time I should without housework…
    They joys of a single mom … not as much time to play anymore : ( I am looking for a house cleaner/helper…

  17. Kelly
    October 26, 2008 | 6:55 pm


    So I should let the baby sleep with me tonight, right?

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