Why Do They Have to Grow Up?

Saturday afternoon I was out with the kids while Angie tried to get some rest, and the boys decided they wanted to drive their Jeep. They have a little PowerWheels Jeep that Grandma and Grandpa got them a couple of years ago, and they love it. It’s been very well used. Since the summer I’ve been prepping Asher that this is probably his last year to be able to drive the Jeep, next year he’ll be too big. This time though, when he got in I noticed the front tires were bent at odd angles… I decided that it was time. It was one of those “this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you” moments; it killed me to tell him he couldn’t drive it anymore. He, of course, got upset; so the two of us sat on the sidewalk for a little while and talked. He cried, I held him. As much for my sake as his.

The Little Jeep

I hate to see him hurt or disappointed. Perhaps even more I hate to see him growing up. This year we’ve watched him changing, learning about the world, learning about pain, discovering ‘big kid’ things. He loves to learn and we talk about how he learns something new every day. I don’t begrudge him his discoveries, but for me they are all bittersweet. It all seems to come so fast.

We sat and talked about how this was part of growing up; that some things he used to do he won’t be able to anymore because he has outgrown them. Other things he can do now that he is bigger that he couldn’t do before. He wanted to know what he could do that Micah can’t; I sent him off to ride his bike.

In raising kids, as in life, it is so easy to keep your eyes on the horizon. Won’t it be great when they can talk? walk? Stop wearing diapers? Get dressed by themselves? Oooh, when they can fix their own breakfast! I can’t wait to build a model rocket with my boys and watch them when we fire it off. But every milestone they reach seems to hurt a little bit. With every gain something is lost.

A couple of weeks ago at dinner Micah learned to say “Spaghetti” correctly. It broke my heart. (It didn’t help of course that his older brother corrected him until he got it right!)

I can’t help but smile every time Micah says “darkeness” or Audrey says “Vrrooom” to tell me that she wants to ride in the Jeep when I say we are going to the store. I love that Micah still has his blanket, and Asher sleeps with a pile of stuffed animals. But I know the day is coming when that will change, and although I know it needs to happen I can’t quite bring myself to face it.

I don’t want them to grow up. None of them asked my permission, and I certainly didn’t approve of it.

2 responses to “Why Do They Have to Grow Up?”

  1. Oh no! Does this mean my little Edison is going to grow up too! I so relate. I want him to be able to talk to me but he is getting so big, so fast. He weighs a whopping 17 lbs! I am trying so hard to soak it all in for every day is so different. Tell those kids of yours to not grow up too fast until our next visit. We want to see them while they are still kiddos.
    Uncle Alan


  2. Ok Brian, you made me cry, both by your sweet “daddy” words and by the fact that we are on the eve of Kathryn’s first birthday…tomorrow she turns one. It has been an emotional day for this mommy’s heart, as tomorrow will be, and as I read your words of how they seem to grow up so fast, it broke my heart in the bittersweet way that you described, seeing how quickly this year has gone by. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights.


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