Don’t push your children to grow up too soon

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That's Life

I was holding my nephew's newborn daughter this weekend and as I smelled the top of her head (like you do). I got a little sentimental. I found myself wishing that my kids were that age again.

"This time may seem hard," I told the new parents. "But it's so much easier when they're little." And I meant it.

I would take a thousand nights of dirty diapers over waiting up for a teenager who has the car any day. At least when they are small you know where they are 24/7 and you have control. As teens when they leave the house, you lose that control and all you can hope for is that they - as I so often call out before the door slams- make good choices!

And sometimes they don't, unless of course they are perfect, or serial killers in the making.

The other day I saw an interview with actress/writer Tina Fey. I always enjoy her take on things and this time she said something that really resonated with me. While talking about her nine-year-old daughter she remarked how goofy her child was; how weird, quirky and funny. And she noted that's the way you want your kids to be and to stay for as long as possible. Don't push them to grow up too soon. Enjoy the baby stage, the geeky stage and everything in between.

Don't let little girls wear sexy Halloween costumes or lip gloss in the fourth grade! Keep boys baggy pants over and not under their buttocks, for as long as possible by encouraging them to wear a belt, or by telling them everyone can see the racing stripes in their underwear.

You see these are things you don't have to worry about with babies, you just put them in a onesie and call it a day.

When children are little they look at you like you're the best thing on Earth, unlike teens who look at your like you're the oldest, grossest thing on Earth.

I know you can't go back in time. But for one day I would love to put my kids in a shrinking machine (fashioned out of left over furnace parts and hair gel) and make them little again. On that day I'd get down on the floor and play toy horses with my daughter, help my son into his Superman garb and watch him make a fort out of couch cushions and last but not least rock my youngest to sleep again, but not before smelling the top of his head (like you do.)


Terri McCormick’s column appears bi-weekly in the Amherst News.


Organizations: Amherst News

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