They Told Me to Enjoy the Young Years. I Didn’t Listen.

They told me to enjoy the young years.

I would complain about how busy our lives are with small children. I would loudly profess my dream of having an entire day to myself, a whole day of not being touched or needed or talked to.

I dreamed of the days that my kids would be in school. The days that I would finally be able to sit down to hot tea in the morning and finally organise my kitchen cupboards in the afternoon. I had relished in the thought of being refreshed when picking them up off the bus.

They tried to warn me that it would be harder once they started school.

But I didn’t listen.

 

My daughter started school this year, and it has been hard on both of us.

Her, because she’s four and unable to fully grasp the social skills required to navigate a sea of thirty children all with their own wants, personalities, and quirks, with only two adults to supervise.

Me, because I can’t be there to help her.

I want to make all the hurt on her face go away. I want to fix it, carry her away, put her in a different school or drive her in every day. I want to move, or take her out of school altogether. I want to be able to hold her hand, tell her it’s OK, help her make friends or to find the right words when she gets upset.

It has been heartbreaking for me.

It broke my heart when I asked her why she didn’t eat her banana, and she told me “I couldn’t open it, and no one saw my hand”. It broke my heart when I asked her where that scrape came from and she said “I fell on the playground. But I just got up, no one saw me do it”.

It breaks my heart to hear “mama, I want to quit school”.

Having our daughter start school has been hard for us, but I don’t think we are the only ones. I have seen other parents struggling with the inevitable change that school life brings. From those who find their kids lunches untouched and find out they weren’t able to open their containers to moms who day after day have to carry their crying child onto the bus.

We are all praying that the next day will be easier. That tomorrow, they will come bounding home from school with friends made and stories to tell, excited to wake up and see what the next day has in store.

Why are these first days so hard! I thought these are supposed to be the easy years! What am I supposed to do when my daughter comes home after her first heartbreak, or she runs away from home, or she starts getting bad grades and skipping class? What about the days of drugs, alcohol, girls who bully and boys who don’t know how to be respectful? I like to think life will get easier for her, but there will always be new challenges to face.

Regardless of how much we want to shelter our children from the difficulties they face at school, we know we can’t. The sad truth is that it’s a cruel world out there, and doing so will only make things harder for them when they are older.

So we will press on, write our little notes in their lunch boxes and greet them off the bus with a smile even if we want to cry. We will give them pep talks and listen with a close ear in case something about their day comes out on the way to their evening activity or at the dinner table.

Our love is so vast, that we must let them go to experience the world without us to hold their hand. To me, this has been the hardest lesson to learn of them all.

 

They told me to enjoy the young years.

They did, but I didn’t listen.

TheMamaNurse

Hi! I am a Registered Nurse on a unit that encompasses labour and delivery, postpartum, medical, surgical and palliative care in a rural hospital in Ontario, Canada. I am a mom of two and am passionate about women's rights, mom and infant care, parenting and nursing. I hope to create an educational, entertaining and highly relatable resource for women around the world. Thanks for stopping by! Xo, The Mama Nurse

2 thoughts on “They Told Me to Enjoy the Young Years. I Didn’t Listen.

  • October 19, 2016 at 10:50 am
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    Tears!!! Very well written. I haven’t experienced that yet, but I’m sitting here cuddling my little girl doing my best to enjoy the younger years.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2016 at 12:19 pm
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    Such beautiful words❤️ I remember those days only too well….that was 35 years ago and even today I still want to hug my girls and be there when they need a hug or an ear to listen…cherish every moment you have…..time goes so fast…

    Reply

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