This comes a few weeks late but the feelings are still just as valid.
The name of this column space remains “Mommy Musings,” as somehow 19-plus years after first being blessed with the job of “Mommy” their sentiments and the “Musings” remain in full force.
This past Halloween, well every Halloween, always seems to flood my mind with so many magical memories of years gone past. From pushing my son (then four-and-a-half months old) dressed as a duck in Oakdale’s Annual Halloween Parade in 2004, to watching my own little Buzz Lightyear and Tinkerbell prance down G Street some years later when the parade was relocated.
The days they do go fast.
The thing about the Halloween memories and my sweet faced, chubby cheek little towheads, is those memories bleed into the two months which follow and hold so much love and yes, more memories.
This year, situated on the porch of a friend’s house as my two not so littles were off doing their own thing, I couldn’t help but beam with appreciation for each and every visitor as they stopped by for a “treat.” Some families each dressed making a delightful ensemble, others with parents bundled in sweat pants as their littles made their way to the porch.
When my duo was little, we found every event possible to attend so they could wear those costumes. Dress up was always so much fun for each of them that it is little surprise that they each became theater kids.
Yet as I watched the kids waddle, prance and run through the neighborhood of my friends I couldn’t help but wonder if those parents truly understood the magic of the season they are living in their children’s lives.
The joy, the excitement, the innocence of the age. Life is truly so simple when they’re that age.
Oh sure, it’s a lot of work and some days are just plain exhausting. Yet before you know it, they’re in an adult sized Tinkerbell costume and off to a Halloween party with friends. You are left in an empty home wondering where the time went and how on earth did it go so fast.
There are times I honestly feel like “that lady,” a broken record of sorts as I admire moms out with their littles advising them to live all the moments and be grateful for each day.
I remember being that mom. Thinking to myself, I got this. I’m all in. These days are not escaping me.
Boy was I wrong.
I learned this most recently when my son graduated high school. Sitting in the stands surrounded by friends, family and fellow parents. Remembering the day I first took that once little now towering at 6’1” to his first day of pre-school. His smile beaming, my heart breaking a bit as his sister and I would return home and learn to do mornings without him. And now with graduation behind us and his next chapter unfolding we do much of day-to-day life minus one. It’s an odd void, yet as it should be.
And therein lies the selflessness of parenthood, which not everyone understands. Our purpose as parents is to raise and foster independent humans. Humans that will go on to follow a path they’ve envisioned for themselves and yes someday perhaps find a partner and parent their own littles.
So as we head into the holiday season, followed by a brand new year, remember to look up and take it all in. Remember to look in the faces of the beautiful souls you’ve been blessed to steward, because believe you me, the day of watching them head out for fun versus run to your open arms is truly just a blink away.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 209-847-3021.