Five Minutes Ago

“They grow up so fast…”

That expression has become a punch line in our house. It started years ago when a very young Charlotte shook her head and made the pronouncement while looking down at her black and white Pomeranian puppy Phoebe. I can’t remember exactly what Phoebe did that prompted it, but Charlo said it with a fake choked sob and just the right degree of parental wistfulness in her voice, and then waited for our reaction because she knew it was funny. And it was! Since then we have used that phrase on each other in all kinds of situations– I can recall it being employed by Madi while bra shopping with her sister, and by me when Russ got his first laptop. But lately?

Not so funny.

Madi just turned 18, and Charlotte just turned 14. I’ll give us all just a minute to let that sink in.

Honestly, this is crazy; five minutes ago I was walking Madi into preschool while balancing Charlotte on my hip. Now it seems like all of a sudden we are talking about things like college and cars and jobs, and frankly, it is kind of horrifying. I mean, I know it is the natural progression of things, blah blah blah, and I SWEAR I’m not planning on hanging on to Madi’s ankles and being dragged across the driveway as she leaves for college. (I didn’t say it won’t happen, just that I’m not planning on it.) It’s not that I don’t want them to grow up, it’s just that… Well, OK, maybe it IS that I don’t want them to grow up. Every year since the girls were born I have happily claimed that whatever age they are is “my favorite age,” and 18 and 14 are no exception. I’m not looking for a time machine to zap them back into adorable toddlers, I’d settle for them just staying where they are now. Indefinitely. Because I really love having them around, I really love the four us being this little family unit hanging out together, going to movies, eating out on the deck, laughing with (and at) each other. I’m not ready for that dynamic to change just yet, so if we could freeze-frame this next year and maybe do one of those ‘Groundhog Day’ things where we just keep reliving it, I would be fine with that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of them leaving the nest and starting their own lives. Eventually. I am just going to need some time to get used to the idea. Like, maybe another 10 years or so.

Apparently I still have some work to do with that whole (making air quotes with my fingers) “letting go” thing.

Dang. They grow up so fast.

25 Responses

  1. Busymom


  2. KellyBurton



    Yeah… (Sigh)


    Oh, Tori!!!! I KNOW!!! what else is there to say?

  4. auburn60

    Hey, don’t sweat it! The reality is ‘They come back!’. (…Says the frustrated mother of two college grads who are moving back home TEMPORARILY.)

    I can see I continue to have my work cut out for me with you on this topic.

    Yes, you do have those moments in time before the first one leaves the nest where you catch yourself constantly viewing the scene in front of you and saying: ‘Oh no! It will never be like this again.’
    And I won’t lie. When that first one leaves you sort of feel like you just had your arm amputated–without anesthesia.
    BUT…you survive. Because they are so proud of themselves. And you did a good job giving them the skills to go out on their own. And… you have no choice.

    So I’d say you have two choices: You can keep your eyes focused on me and repeat as your mantra: ‘She made it through and so will I’…OR you can send Madi here to K-town to go to school where I can report back to you regularly.

    (Just Kidding, Madi.)

  5. bettyrwoodward

    I know what you mean! Mine are 35 and 32 now and I really don’t know where the time has gone. I still miss having them at home but when they come to visit its just great. Also be assured grandchildren are a real joy – however I guess you wouldn’t want them just yet!

  6. LindaB

    One word—–GRANDCHILDREN! They make all this angst worth it! Just hang in there.

    Ya know, now days, kids tend to not leave their nest, or return to it after a short time on their own. It’s the economy. You may have those little cherubs around longer than you anticipated.

    What sweet pictures! Time does seem to fly.

  7. sherieaster

    I can feel your pain. Madison was 17, Morgan was 12 and I felt like I was losing my job. I wrote what I deemed to be a teenage lullaby, mourning the loss of my children’s youth and recorded it to share with others who were experiencing the same! Then, on our 20th wedding anniversary, I discovered I was pregnant…Tori, sweetie, maybe you and Russ should try this! I now have one entering pre-school and one saying “I do”. I am now too busy to mourn and hope that by the time that feeling rises up in me again, that grandchildren will fill my house. I love you, thanks for making me smile this morning;)

  8. Tweets that mention » Five Minutes Ago | babybloomr --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tori Taff and johnnie parker, johnnie parker. johnnie parker said: RT @Babybloomr: No other mother in the world ever felt this way before, right? Just me, right? […]

  9. LindaB

    Yeah, Tori! Sheri has a point! How ’bout it? Think of the blogging possiblities!

  10. auburn60

    Hey Linda! You up for a baby shower?

  11. LindaB

    Sure am!!! We could come up with some cool baby shower games too! Like….pin the tail on the terrorist! We could combine it with Madi’s graduation party and Russ’ new CD coming out! It will be tasteful, though. We can do “tasteful”, can’t we?

  12. Karin

    So appropriate for me, my oldest LEAVES for college next month. On one hand, I am so thrilled for her, the experiences, learning and growing that will take place. On the other hand, I will miss her on a day to day basis. So glad texting and Facebook exist :-). And Tori, I would lock out anyone on the comments suggesting that you and Russ start all over again . . . although it would make for some great posts. :-)

  13. auburn60

    ‘tasteful–showing good asthetic judgement or appropriate behavior’

    Um…I think we’re doomed.

  14. auburn60

    Should be ‘aesthetic’.

    See? We don’t stand a chance.

  15. rockin robyn

    We all missed the blogging on baby updates with your girls… Soooo!

    Daily we always create something to worry about. My niece just turned 12 and we are all “Do you believe in 4 years she’ll be wanting to drive… and we’ll be worrying about her on the roads” bla bla bla…

    I say you must have done an awesome job with them and had a great time and that has allowed time to fly. But I know these products of Russ and Tori will go out into the world and do great things. Sumpin to be proud of!!

    Now load up the cd player – Trace Adkins “Your Gonna Miss This”

  16. rachelbaker

    Awwwww. Well, I’m not there yet but seeing as I’m sure it was only a few months ago that I was sixteen and somehow I’m now twice that age and married with three kids, I can guess that its going to happen in the blink of an eye.

  17. MostlySunny

    Yes, I hear all of you!! BUT…the empty nest thing has been so UNDER RATED. When the last one left for college, we grieved for about 2 hours, then…DANG, this is fun!

    The only thing “they” don’t tell you when they go away is, their friends go away, too. It’s awfully quiet, but still fun!

    Yes, they do grow up so fast…

  18. tori

    Busymom– I KNOW!!!

    KellyBurton– YOU know!!!

    DELIVERED– Thank you.

    auburn60– That’s what my sister Liz says… Thanks for the empathy, and the offer (Madi’s kinda talking UTC lately.)

    bettywoodward– You’re right– grandchildren would NOT be good news right now! (But later, for sure!)

    LindaB– Every grandparent I know feels exactly the same way you do!

    sherieaster– Hey girl! Yeah, somehow I don’t think I’d do the ‘surprise baby’ thing as gracefully as you have… But the idea is kinda fun!

    LindaB/auburn60– Can you even imagine?! Russ would have to be hospitalized at the news!

    Karin– Yikes, you’re one year ahead of me! (How are you holding up?)

    rockin robyn– That song kills me.

    rachelbaker– Yep, it’s the same blink of an eye, all right.

    MostlySunny– I remember when I left home, I was the youngest of 6 and I thought Mom and Dad would be devastated… They went on a cruise of the Greek islands.

  19. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Oh, bless their little hearts….that picture is precious!

    I loved being a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. My children are 55, 52 and 43…all married but only 1 granddaughter and 3 great-grands. Yep, they do grow up fast. I still look back and sometimes wish I could hold that little bald-head baby, pick flowers with that toddler and talk about boys after my teenager returns from a dance. Then reality sets in and I know I wouldn’t be up to that right now….but all those many memories sure are a blessing. Besides, I have an adopted family now and they sure are growing up fast, too.

  20. tori

    Oh, Momma Lloyd– we ARE, aren’t we?!
    Love you so.

  21. LindaB

    Well, Auburn60, I guess the party is off. I can stop making those flowers for the table centerpieces out of pipe cleaners and Pampers. Dang! I’ll just save what I’ve already made in case you or I get pregnant……or anyone else on this blog.

  22. MostlySunny

    LindaB – I’ll pass on that one. Save the pipe cleaners for some one else! I’ll help.

  23. auburn60

    If I tell you I’m pregnant you start looking for a star in the east and three wise men making their way across the Cumberland Plateau.

  24. LindaB


  25. DonnaMariePatterson

    Don’t worry sweetie. I betcha they’re gonna always want to hang with their ‘cool’ mom!!!!

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