I Already Miss You

5 kids in this house and chaos reigns. Most often we are trying to figure out how to squeeze everyone in, get everyone to sit down, get everyone where they need to be, get everyone to BE QUIET for just 30 seconds. You would think that when we are down a kid we would feel a little relief. And let’s face it, if someone takes the four-year-old off my hands for a day, I might just feel like my load is a little lighter. But then there’s the fourteen-year-old. Starting to spread her wings. Starting to turn her gaze outward from the walls of this house onto the great big world. Starting to be gone…a lot.

We are just hitting a new phase, one where it seems that one event leads to another. We pick her up from play practice, only to drop her off at a friend’s house. She goes from the mall to a movie to a sleepover. Or she needs to squeeze in some babysitting jobs to support that mall habit. And when she is home, her bedroom is her domain. She now disappears for hours doing her thing, emerging only when hunger strikes. It doesn’t really matter why she is gone because it adds up to the fact that she is still lives in my house but I already miss her.

I can see the next four years getting ready to zoom past us. I want to hold on, to slow down, but I can see by the look in her eye that there is just no turning back the clock. Sooner rather than later she will be a summer guest in our home rather than a daily fixture at our kitchen table. And how on Earth do I prepare myself for that? Just thinking about it…I already miss her.

One of the worst parts is right at the time she is leaving us more, she is also becoming even more fun to hang out with. She is growing into this awesome human who is using her gifts out in the world and is often actually rational and gives me fashion advice I actually consider taking. She is a genuinely helpful and productive member of this household most of the time (hey, she’s still 14). She gets the jokes. Plus, she actually understands and enjoys the bands that Todd listens to and can have an educated conversation with him, so I don’t feel as bad about just not getting it. It’s not John Denver or George Michael? Then I’ve got nothing. I watch them chatting away and get tears in my eyes because she’s not even gone and I already miss her.

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Playing dress up at 4  **blink** Her first fancy dance up 14. I can’t even….

Tonight I sit in my quiet house and realize this time is just so fleeting. This young lady who made us parents will not be under our roof forever. I remember when she was born, the first words my mom said were, “Don’t you just LOVE her.” Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. That sweet moment where my mom knew that I got it. The love. In that moment our universe shifted and I don’t want it to shift again. I thought having a giant boatload of kids would mean that when one left it would hurt less, but I can clearly now see that is not going to be the case. She is here sleeping peacefully in her bed and I already miss her.

So for now, I will cherish the times we have a little bit more, try and be as present as I can be in order to slow down time. I’m making a vow to do the same for all my kids as each one will bring their own shift in the force as they grow out of our home and into the great big world. And I will try to create memories as my parents did, by having time set aside to be together as a family, even if it causes some eye rolling (I’m pretty sure that eye rolling is fake anyway…who would not want to spend time with us, right?). I have such great memories of times growing up when no one left with friends and we all hung out together playing cards or going out to eat and I want this same time for my little family. These are the times my friends, the ones we will hold onto when they are gone.

And if she is not sure why I am holding her back just a little, saying no just a bit, and hugging her just a little tighter, I will explain that my dear, dear daughter, it is because I already miss you.

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Love this girl.

Photo credit to Ellie’s friend Keely M. whose amazing display of talent is another sign that they are ALL growing up

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Amy

48 Comments

  1. Julie Rendall on October 9, 2015 at 1:44 am

    AMAZING Amy! You are spot on! With my oldest in his first year of college I have been and am there! Hold tight to those memories! Someone told me that we do a great job preparing them to be adults but we do a lousy job preparing ourselves to be empty nesters! How true!

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 2:52 am

      Thanks Julie! And yes…how do we prepare ourselves? So true!

    • susie holland on October 9, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      AMY!! OMG this is so true!! Know you know what your mom thought and how she felt with the four of you BEAUTIFUL GIRLS!!! and your dad too!! I know its so hard but that is what we as good parent do we set them up to “”FLY OUT THERE ON THIER OWN!!””….and then DAMNNNITTTTTTT…we sometimes wonder ??? should I have done that?? HAHAHA You are being totally honest and You know thats why I love you~~ its a hard road to let them go ……..and see them drifting away before they are gone… just think of the ones that have no kids..??OH MY….or the one child ???YIKES and be thrilled you can do this 4 more times!!!!!!!!! love your BLOG!! we do need to meet up sometime when you are up here…….I want to sit and chat with YOU!! <3

      • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:41 pm

        Thank you so much for your thoughts…yes! Yes…we need to sit and have a glass of wine and CHAT!!!

  2. Kami on October 9, 2015 at 1:50 am

    This is how I feel about my Elsa! Great post!

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 2:52 am

      Thanks! Our girls are our hearts right?

  3. Uncle Jerrod on October 9, 2015 at 2:12 am

    A real tear jerker for me. Already starting with my 8th grader. Dreading all of it.

    Awesome post. Well done.

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 2:51 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting…we’re in this together right?? I appreciate your kind words so much!

  4. Christi on October 9, 2015 at 2:15 am

    Oh Amy- that was beautifully written. It brought a tear to my eye!

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 2:50 am

      AWww…thanks for reading Christi!

  5. Amy Rabas on October 9, 2015 at 2:16 am

    Oh boy! You brought me to tears. I had to drop off my Sadie girl at college this year! It is a bittersweet feeling. You raise them to be independent so they are prepared to spread their wings, but oh how I wanted time to stand still for just a little longer. It goes so fast.. Watch out!

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 2:50 am

      Everyone says it will go so fast at first you don’t believe it to be true. But it so is…bittersweet. Yes.

  6. Karrie on October 9, 2015 at 2:18 am

    Spot on, Amy! So many times I have thought about the first child leaving the nest. Trying to hold on, while she’s trying to fly, trying to find the balance..

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 2:49 am

      Yes, trying to hold on while she’s trying to fly…exactly that!

  7. Jessie on October 9, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Beautifully said! The love and time with our kids is so precious!

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 3:25 am

      It really is!

  8. Julie on October 9, 2015 at 3:33 am

    Love! Love! Love! This post is spot on and so incredibly accurate!! I tear up all the time thinking about my daughter and how fast she grew up and moved on to college. Now with a sophomore son, my heart is being tugged again. Who would have ever thought that being a parent would be so wonderful and yet so heart-tugging!!! Thanks Amy for the beautiful words tonight. Loving our children is such a beautiful thing.

    • Amy on October 10, 2015 at 12:31 am

      Awww…thank you so much for reading! And yes…a very beautiful thing!

  9. Lori C on October 9, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Amy…seriously?!?! This is perfection. Jack is 12 but just yesterday I had a logical adult-ish conversation with him & his friend. They’re good people. My kid and his friends, they’re good people that I’d totally hang out with! When did that happen?!?!

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Thank you so much sharing this! I agree…when did this happen? Thank you for reading!!

  10. Jenn on October 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Amy you captured my feelings exactly. Hard to believe I met you for the first time at our girls’ age and we now have freshman ourselves. Chin up sweetie. I’ll bring the Kleenex and we can cry together. Love ya–Jenn

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Yes…it is crazy! Absolutely!!

  11. Aaron Zemlock on October 9, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    What a beautifully written piece. Tears came easily while reading this. My beautiful, independent daughter is now in 8th grade and I can relate to most everything you said. I had some great advice from a school social-worker years ago who’s children had grown up. He said he always cherishes the times spent when they were younger and at home but he has come to really appreciate having a cup of coffee with his adult children and engaging in grown up conversations and it has now become his favorite time in their lives. So I try not to look at it as losing or missing something, rather it is reading on to the next chapter of a book we know we will never put down.

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Oh I love that perspective! Thank you so much for sharing it! Such a bittersweet thing cherishing these kids as we send them off. They are just my favorite people which is such a blessing! Thank you for reading and sharing your comments…so appreciated!

  12. Molly on October 9, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    That is completely how I feel. Just yesterday a mom of college age children told me to hang ong to these days. She was seeing my life as what she missed while I was already feeling like some much time has slipped away. It is a nice reminder to hang on to today and enjoy every moment of motherhood. Ellie is a beautiful girl. (And what a great pic by Keely!) Jackson misses them both.

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Jackson is so missed…as are all of you! And yes…hanging on is my thing right now for sure. But not too tight? Oh dear…tough stuff!

  13. sara on October 9, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    So then I’m not completely nuts when I think of letting my oldest go to school all day and it makes me a little, or a lot, sad? I’m talking kindergarten. I feel for you!

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      Kindergarten…then blink…then high school. It’s serious. I cried when Sam went to 4K and it was my fifth one. I just love them all right here in my nest. Blessings to you my friend as you begin this darn letting go…

  14. Kay on October 9, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Awesome posting Amy. I can relate to what you are saying. It was especially hard with only one child. Tears in my eyes

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      Yes! Thank you so much for reading and commenting…tears here too!

  15. Sarah on October 9, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Amy you made me cry! It happens so fast and there is nothing we can do to keep them just the way they are right now! You have a beautiful way of writing! We have to enjoy every minute!

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah! I do wish we could just press pause right?

  16. Holly on October 9, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    The title alone made me cry, then went on to read it… isn’t watching them grow up so bittersweet?!!!

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      It is!!!! Thank you so much for reading…this parent is a tough gig sometimes isn’t it? But beautiful just the same…

  17. Auntie on October 9, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Beautifully written Amy. I Remember those feelings so well.

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks so much Auntie!

  18. Jenn Landes on October 9, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Beautifully written Amy! I’m crying. I think back to that day when we were pushing our baby girls around the mall in their matching strollers! Now they are 15 (almost!) and I don’t know where the time has gone. Thank you for this beautiful insight and reminding me how precious every moment is!

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      That was YESTERDAY…I swear! Thank you for reading!

  19. Mary Jo Zell on October 9, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    so very true- beautiful- At our house I see that girl looking out everyday and I can’t believe we are there- tears!

    • Amy on October 9, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      I cannot believe it either…takes my breath away!

  20. Dana on October 9, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Beautifully written. It goes by quickly. You caused me to pause the repeating tapes in my mind of how hard it can be in order to just savor the chaos.

  21. Tracie Schmidt on October 9, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Amy, not only is it a pleasure to read the blogs you share, but the awesome pics that go with help the amazement!! Let me just say two things…1) Ellie’s pic and the pure joy in her face and freedom in her hair, says how much she is enjoying her life!! 2) If you haven’t already read the book “The Precious Present”, you should! It’s a quick read and I feel everyone should read (and live) it!! Look it up…I am leaving some mystery behind my comment. Remember, already missing her is fine, just don’t be consumed by missing her so much that you miss “The Precious Present”!!!!

    • Amy on October 10, 2015 at 12:33 am

      Thank you so much Tracie! I LOVE book recommendations…I’m heading to add it to my Amazon cart right now. I love the mystery behind the comment.:-) Thank you!

  22. Barb Pawelkiewicz on October 11, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Both my boys are grown up and out of the house. How could that be?! It seems like just yesterday that we were super busy and had a houseful of kids. Now things are quiet and my weekends are filled with things that I want to do. I do miss those busy times, but enjoy my “new” life, too. Cherish each stage of your kids’ lives. Time FLIES . . .

    • Amy on October 11, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Yes, I really think that is it for me, trying to cherish each stage. And such a good perspective…enjoying the new life. I am quite sure that at first I will have no idea what to do with a quiet weekend!!! I just realized that because of Sam I will have to wait 14 more years to find out. The way things work here, I am wondering if a 28 year old Ellie will be dropping off babies for us to watch. Ha!! But we will cherish that too I am sure. Thanks so much for reading!

  23. Krista on October 14, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Seriously…the tears are rolling. You are spot on writing exactly what my heart is feeling with my oldest girl! Love the blog…can’t wait to read more!

    • Amy on October 15, 2015 at 2:13 am

      Thank you so much Krista!

  24. Margaret George on April 15, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Oh, how I relate to this so much, My oldest is graduating from college next month and moving into his first apartment, thankfully in the town right next to ours so I will get to see him more than more moms I know. But he was home this past weekend, and I thought, wow this is the last weekend he will be sleeping in his own bed in our house before he moves out. Where did the time go? He has a place of his own now, soon to be a college graduate, I know as parents our job is to raise them to grow their wings to fly but, man it’s hard when they finally do. Enjoy every moment that you can make memories with your babies eye rolls and all. Hug your babies tight Momma!

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