Growing up Too Fast - Londonderry,NH

Updated on June 04, 2015
R.A. asks from Albany, CA
15 answers

My son is 11 and today is headed to (gulp) the Middle School to meet his teacher and find out his team for 6th grade. I'm so sad this day has arrived. It's validation that he has come so far, but it's sad that he is growing up so fast. He is my sweet boy, and my only child. I love him.

I know every Mother goes through this, it just has hit me today, and I felt like sharing.

So how do you all cope with having your kids grow up? I always rolled my eyes when my own mother would be sad when I reached certain milestones. However, you never fully take it all in until you have your own..

Hope all of you are well and enjoying the week!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for such wonderful responses! I am better. Just had a moment, and when my son came home all proud about going to the Middle School I was happy for him.

He has a learning disability, and has made such progress in school and in all areas of learning. I had quit my job to help with early intervention when he was 2, and have stayed home ever since. Now he is excelling in a school, makes great grades, has lots of friends, and all of his teachers adore him. I'm very proud of him, just know that he is becoming more independent. Which is a great thing. I just can't believe how fast time goes by. Everyone has always told me that, but I didn't quite get it. Now I do !

To celebrate we are going to watch a movie tonight and eat some popcorn. That's one thing I do enjoy is watching movies together . As he gets older, it gets more interesting. Cars is now replaced by The Goonies, Harry Potter, and Jurassic Park!

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answers from San Francisco on

Isn't it interesting how differently we can process things? I'm very much the opposite. First day of school, last day of elementary, first day of high school, graduation, all of these things were incredibly exciting for me. I loved watching my kids grow and change. I truly felt the thrill of each new stage and had so many good and positive thoughts, I really didn't feel sad at all.
The only time I felt the tug of sadness was when I took them to college. As happy and proud as I was I knew THIS was a real goodbye, and that I wouldn't be seeing them for months at a time. Thank goodness for Skype and all the other forms of social media!!!
So I don't really know how to tell you to "cope" other than just try to enjoy the ride, that's what life is all about, right?

8 moms found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

While I do miss my little guys, I actually find I enjoy my children more the older they get. We have more fun together, we have more in common and enjoy more of the same things.

Celebrate by doing something that your middle schooler can do with you that your grade schooler couldn't have. The local go-carting place here kids had to be 10 to drive the big carts themselves, so it was great that we were finally able to race against each other. Our paintball place required kids to be 11 to play. Go see a movie together that your little kid wouldn't have watched. I know I hated going to watch kids movies with my kids and love it now that we can all go to adult movies together. I celebrated when my kids were big enough to hike or bike a serious distance, or paddle a canoe or kayak on their own. I guess what I am saying is don't mourn the loss of your child, but celebrate your young man!

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

IMO, life is a series of bittersweet moments. There are days I look at my DD and think about when she was a baby. But I also am happy at who she is and who she is becoming. You cope by being happy for their future. We've been through this process twice now with my stepkids (though it affected DH more than me - DD is the one I wish would slow down!) and now that they are adults and have lives of their own, we get to sit back and just enjoy them. No more needing to parent, or wipe noses or "did you remember...?" Moving up means they grew and achieved and accomplished. And some kids never get to do that, either because they have a condition that prevents it (my friend worries about her son who has Autism) or because they never got that far (my SIL lost a son when he was just 4).

So take a moment to wish he'd be young forever. And then pat yourself on the back that he's growing and learning and you're doing a good job.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The time does fly by, especially from middle school on.

My one and only is 20 and just completed her 2nd year of college.

Was I ever a little sad when some milestones passed? Yes, but in all honesty, I have enjoyed each stage. We have a great close relationship, never went through rebelling times with her except a bf we didn't like but she wised up soon enough on that.

Enjoy it all! It does fly by but things get better and there are new adventures on each milestone!!

Have a happy day!!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I tried to embrace each and every accomplishment. The excitement for each level will help.

Please stay as involved in the middle school as you were in elementary school.

For some reason, the middle school patents seem to disappear. But they are only there for 3 years and poof, they are in high school.

This is a coming together of other kids from different neighborhoods, many times, lots less parents involved, but still they need and want volunteers.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Don't let him see your sadness. He's excited and you don't want to take any of his joy away. He needs your support and excitement because he may be apprehensive about certain things. In 7th grade, both of my kids were so worried about opening their lockers (as was everyone) but they survived as does everyone else.

My daughter semi-jokingly says she doesn't want to graduate next year and she's not ready to grow up. Her and her friends are making a bucket list of things to do their senior year. It feels like she just started preschool yesterday. We officially entered the year of the "lasts" - the last volleyball season, the last NHS banquet, the last fall choir concert and everything else. My daily role as her mother will end in one year. My son graduated a year ago so I've been through this and know how it goes, but they are completely different. His transition has been gradual, but hers will be abrupt going to college. I just want to hit pause and trace their faces to remember every moment, every scar and every story. I hold their youth in my memory, but their future belongs to them and what they chose to share with me. I won't get the early morning rundown of the schedule and help with studying. I won't see the tired eyes after being out too late. I won't see the teary eyes when life is not fair. It will be a new phase and that's how its supposed to happen, but it doesn't make it easier on the moms left behind in the quiet homes walking by the empty bedroom

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

the milestones are all so bittersweet, aren't they? i try to resist the temptation to grab new moms by the hair and shriek 'ENJOY EVERY SECOND, DAMMIT!!!!'
because we were all told that, and we all thought we understood it, but you don't. and that's okay. if we spent every second frantically trying to appreciate it right into the ground, it would have the exact opposite effect.
i suppose i'm lucky in that i've always had an identity outside of 'mom' and pursued my own odd interests and pathways, even during the broke-and-busy years. so being an empty-nester has its own sweetness.
but boy is it WONDERFUL when the kids and their friends come back to the farm and fill the house with noise and laughter and mess again!
all i can tell you is that a) it's okay and b) don't burden your kid with your time-is-fleeing sadness. have a blue moment and a sniffle if you need to, but not until you've sent him off to his next adventure with a wave and a proud smile.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I never understood the sadness at kids growing up.

Weaning? I could wear pretty bras again and no more sore breasts and leaking.

Potty training? No more diapers to wash.

First day of school? No more day care to pay for.

Transitions from elementary to middle to high school? Just really not a big deal.

Moving into her own place? No more need to try to be quiet during sex.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

My son is 9 and although I have a younger son I had a similar moment this week. My friend's son came for a visit - he is also heading to middle school next year - and he is taller than me!! I am not super tall, 5'3" - but it really didn't occur to me until that moment that one day both of my boys will be taller than me!!! Time flies....

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

Well let's see.

I enjoyed my kids as little people and watched and enjoyed the milestones. I also liked when they were more independent and could do somethings for themselves like getting dressed and putting on shoes and coats.

Each phase in life is different and you embrace the changes and know that you did your best to be there for them when they needed you. Take lots of pictures and put them in a book and write a journal of your thoughts and give it to them on their wedding day or whatever in the future.

I didn't have the school down the street very often as we were a military family and moved around a bit. Our last overseas assignment had the schools in the housing area and all the kids walked to school that lived on base the others came by bus.

As for your career, look at it thoroughly and find something that you like about it and focus on that. Or find something that you really want to do and do it. So that by the time the kids are out of school you will have a career or a niche and enjoy life. I have always worked because that is me and that helped the kids see that mom is more than just mom. I also did this so that I would not have the "empty nest" syndrome of trying to find myself after the kids were gone.

Suggest you find a hobby or take a class in something you like or want to try. Good luck to you.

the other S.

PS I felt so bad one day when my daughter in six grade took a class trip for a week to Austria and I thought to myself "Oh my baby is growing up!". It only lasted until the bus pulled away and then I went on with my life and so will you. It is part of the life cycle of raising children.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Good responses below.

I never really experienced this; I was excited for each new stage they went through. Maybe that's because I had three, so it seemed never-ending.

I only felt this when my youngest graduated high school, and I've been in a little bit of mourning ever since, because it was the end of a long, irreplaceable era. I still don't love the empty, quiet house. One kid is home at the moment, and I love the sound of him clomping through the house and talking to his friends as I lie in bed at night. I read an article by a woman who said that it took her four years to get through the empty nest grieving, so that's the timeline I've set for myself. (I'm not unhappy all the time, it's just a sort of wistful feeling, and a wonder whether anything else in my future will equal the joy and excitement of those years.)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I'm glad you posted this so I can read responses too. I was going to post something similar bc I've been wondering if I'm over the top with my sadness about my oldest finishing elementary. I should make sure I don't put my sadness over them growing up onto my kids. That's a good point. But you're not alone feeling like this. I'm so sad. Funny thing is half the time I'm frustrated how demanding my oldest can be and I was never in love with the toddler years or anything. It's like I want my cake and eat it too. Keep them all cute and cuddly but not so needy. :) Our elementary is so close to our house and is such a cute school with nice kids and parents I really hate to see it end. I will still have my younger one there but now will be torn between two schools. My oldest is going to private middle school too which of course I'm happy about in some ways or we wouldn't have gone down this path but I'm also so worried about the change and all new people and it's not down the street. So I'll enjoy reading more answers and a good way to look at it too is to appreciate our kids can become more independent as they grow up. I'm sure it's incredibly hard if you know they can't bc of a disability.That's really stressful. And we can hope for grandkids someday. :) Another thing this has raised for me is what am I going to do in 5-10 years? I work full time and have had very prosperous career but it's not intrinsically satisfying and we don't financially need me to work but what the heck am I going to do? So for me this is raising mid life crisis type issues too...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It's what you have worked for. I always loved seeing them grow and thrive! Do t be sad, enjoy the next stage.

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answers from Appleton on

My first grandchild is headed off to High School next year... How'd that happen?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Hi R.,

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I feel like Sybil sometimes balancing my pride in everything my 13 year old DS is accomplishing in moving into adolescence and my melencholoy as he gains more independence and liberty, moves closer to his social circle and experiencing all the little evolutions in our relationship. My Dad always said that our kids aren't ours...God rents them to us and if we do a good job they'll turn into self sufficient adults. Even now, my DS is on his 7th grade end of year trip. They took 57 7th graders to a state park in Pennsylvania for tent camping this week and I miss him terribly. But I know he's spending his time mastering his world and honing his identity. I'm not really answering your question but I am commiserating with you and letting you know you're not alone. You are justified in your feelings. I disagree that you shouldn't tell him your feelings. I think it's important to your relationship that you're honest but be sure to reassure him that any pangs you feel are yours and yours alone and reinforce how happy and proud you are that he's progressing so beautifully. Kids tend to make everything they perceive that's wrong is their fault, including any sadness you may unwittingly express. Tell him how much you love him and how proud of him you are every day. Sorry to ramble...I think the timing of this question hit a nerve with me. I hope you find at least some of it useful. :-) S.

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