When my children were babies, I never wanted them to grow up. Then, as toddlers, there would be some seriously trying days and I would see friends and family members with children older than mine and think, "Oh I can't wait until they're older because they seem so much easier."
Can I say that I am now sorry for every time I wished them older?
I can still remember having my daughter, 12 years ago, and one of the maternity ward nurses telling me to "enjoy her...they grow so quickly." Yeah, I sure will, I thought to myself. But do you ever really listen to that kind of advice? No, of course not.
On Thursday, April 1, 2010, my daughter decided to ask me if I thought the Easter Bunny would hide her & her brother's Easter baskets. I answered like any parent trying to keep the magic alive..."How should I know what the Easter Bunny is planning to do this year?"
And then it happened.
I got "that look." You know the one. The look that says "Are you kidding me? I'm 12 years old now. I know."
Not knowing exactly what to do, and seeing the smirk on her face, I knew it was time to come clean. As heartbreaking as it was, it was time. (I wanted to tell her a few years ago, not wanting kids at school to make fun of her for believing, but my husband insisted I leave it alone and let her figure it out by herself. Smart man.) Anyway, I asked her if she realized that things would most likely never be the same now and that was why we tried to keep the magic going. She understood. She even said, "I wanted to keep believing, but the older I got, the more illogical it was all becoming." Smart girl.
So, she knows. She is growing up and I don't like it one bit. (I don't even want to think about her 1st Christmas not believing in the big guy.) How did this all happen? The little girl dressed in the pink flowered jammies on Easter morning, the one with the gleam in her eye, knows. She knows.
I have sworn her to secrecy about spilling the beans to her 8-year-old brother. She promised and said that he would most likely be in tears if he ever found out. Again, smart girl. I can see him believing for a quite a few years yet. Keeping my fingers crossed anyway.
So, if you have little ones, here is my wish that they continue to believe as long as possible. And like that wise maternity ward nurse once said, "enjoy them, they grow so quickly."