Our boy turns eight this month. Eight!
With a great sinking feeling it dawned on me, his childhood is more or less half over already. But that can’t be! It’s gone too quickly.
It seriously doesn’t seem that long ago that I was eight.
Life was all go go balls and raa raa skirts and experimental freestyle dancing around the lounge room to Madonna’s Like a Virgin.
(Honestly, I had no idea what it all meant.)
And being eight seemed to last forever.
It’s a common cry for mums and dads to lament the fact that childhood is but a blip on the radar of our life.
I truly believe that’s not the case for the kids.
For us, time is cruel. But, as far as perspective goes, the kids are wallowing in it.
For them, I do believe childhood is lasting just as long as it should.
The other thing I know is that even when our raa raa skirts are outgrown and our go go balls superseeded (dancing around the lounge room is exempt, that should never cease) the days spent as a child never actually go away.
Our childhood never leaves us. We carry it with us always.
I was talking to my grandfather (90 this year) about it all and he said, yes, his happy, free, loving childhood has been with him every day of his life.
Every day the farm he grew up on is in his heart.
I live with my younger self daily, too.
She’s still here, reminding me who I am and where I’ve come from.
Reminding me that I am loved.
That I’m a daughter as well as a wife and mother.
I made my own son pinky promise me that even when he towers above me, which I know he will one day too soon, that he will still have time to hug his mum.
He said of course, because we will always love each other. I told him yes, even when he is grown, just below the surface he will always be the same person. The child within.
I know how fortunate I am to carry within me a happy, contented, protected childhood. For not all of us do.
Never is living with our younger selves more evident than if our early years were not so blessed.
One of my nearest knows this. As a little person, at his most venerable, my loved one missed out on the nurturing he needed and deserved.
And although this person is now loved beyond belief, those early years left a wound that sometimes weeps.
I sometimes worry, as all parents probably do, are we doing enough for our son, are we giving him memories to cherish, enough experiences to help him grow up to be a well-rounded person.
But it’s really much more simple than that. All we have to do is love our kids.
I know the past eight solid years of love will be so much more than a memory for him. He will live it.