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Childhood doesn't wait

36 replies

mollipops · 18/12/2002 05:33

I was sitting on a bench
while in a nearby mall,
When I noticed a young mother
with two children who were small.

The youngest one was whining,
"Pick me up," I heard him beg
but the mother's face grew angry
as the child clung to her leg.

"Don't hang on to me," she shouted
as she pushed his hands away,
I wish I'd had the courage
to go up to her and say...

"The time will come too quickly
when those little arms that tug,
Won't ask for you to hold them
or won't freely give a hug.

"The day will sneak up subtly
just as it did with me,
When you can't recall the last time
that your child sat on your knee.

"Like those sacred, pre-dawn feedings
when we cherished time alone
Our babies grow and leave behind
those special times we've know.

"So when your child comes to you
with a book that you can share,
Or asks that you would tuck him in
and help him say his prayer...

"When he comes to sit and chat
or would like to take a walk,
Before you answer that you can't
'cause there's no time to talk

"Remember what all parents learn
so many times too late,
That years go by too quickly
and that childhood doesn't wait.

"Take every opportunity,
if one should slip away
Reach hard to get it back again,
don't wait another day."

I watched that mother walk away
her children followed near,
I hope she'll pick them up
before her chances disappear.

Give your children a big hug from me

OP posts:

Bugsy · 18/12/2002 09:43

Thanks Mollipops, that is lovely. Nearly blubbing in the office.


Lucy123 · 18/12/2002 09:48

must go and see how dd is.


Lil · 18/12/2002 10:28

Oh no now I feel awful!!


Catt · 18/12/2002 11:01

That is SO true. How often do we wish our children would leave us alone and give us some peace... well, the time will come soon enough when they'll do that and then we'll be mourning what we've lost. Thanks for the reminder Mollipops!


Bobbins · 18/12/2002 11:07

That was lovely

Makes me feel so sad that I lost Harvey though, but at least I made the most of him. I'm so glad I didn't leave him to cry as some suggested!


Bobbins · 18/12/2002 11:11

mollipops, did you write it?...if not where is it from, I'd like to send it to some friends.


threeangels · 18/12/2002 13:56


What a beautiful story. I will admit I am guilty of pushing my kids away at one time or another when Ive really had a bad day and I'm just exausted but this has made me think even more of how precious my children are to my life. I think I will print this out and pass it on to friends.


Azzie · 18/12/2002 13:58

Oh mollipops, that made me cry (in the office too, not a good move!). But then we went to dd's nursery xmas play this morning and she was so sweet in it that I just wanted to hug her forever.


Rhubarb · 18/12/2002 15:50

My pleasant feelings towards my dd will probably last all of one hour - then I'll be back to my usual self! But at least she'll have an hour of soppiness from me! This also reminded me, rather sadly, of seeing 2 girls in town on a particularly cold and biting day. One of the girls was pushing a buggy in which was (presumably) her toddler son, he was dressed only in a tracksuit with no socks or shoes on. His feel looked red and swollen with the cold. Looking back I wish now that I had said something, but I know in my heart I would have been told to F**k off. I bet neither of those girls would have gone out barefooted in that weather though. Poor mite.


susanmt · 18/12/2002 16:41

But I still like to go to the loo on my own when I can!!


Shattered · 18/12/2002 21:37

Rhubarb, I also had to look twice the other day when I was in the supermarket. A mother was pushing her baby around in a shopping trolley wearing nothing but a nappy (The baby, not the mother..). Thought the baby looked around 7 months old and I was really taken aback by it.

It's summer here but all the shops are air-conditioned, which means that it can get very cold, especially in the refrigerated section. I just truly wonder about some peoples' common sense (or lack of it).


mollipops · 19/12/2002 08:55

Hi all, glad you like it - thought it was lovely too...found it on a website, can't remember which one, looking for a poem for dd's teacher for end-of-year (didn't find one, but found that so at least I didn't waste my time altogether!) I guess since it was on here, it's not "copyright" so feel free to send it on! I think it's a great message to share around.

OP posts:

RushingAround · 19/12/2002 09:40

Oh dear. Like Bugsy and Azzie, the tears are pricking my eyes as I sit in the office. It's all too true.

I remember when my ds was just born, people saying to me here (in French, which always sounded more doom-laden) "Oh, ca passe vite..." and "Profitez!" So from the word Go I was a bit paranoid of it going quickly, and having to make the most of it. But then I tried to tell myself just to live in the present, enjoy what was happening today, try not to mourn yesterday (because for the little ones, Time passing is positive as they're growing up and learning new things all the time) - and don't think of the future and wish away time.

Will sign off as I need to find a hankie - and hug the photos on my desk!


StayingIn · 19/12/2002 13:17

Sorry to go against the grain - but I'm feeling a bit down today - and reading this hasn't helped.

Last night I actually had an evening out - company Christmas Dinner - without DS, who is now 16 months, for the very first time since he was born. During the evening someone, who I have to work with every day, chose the opportunity to lecture me on leaving him and missing out on his childhood in order to go out and enjoy myself - much along the lines of this, that he was probably upset and missing me, and couldn't understand why I'd disappeared, and he'll grow up quickly and I'll have missed it all. OK, so they were probably "under the influence" a little, but it spoiled my evening and I ended up feeling that I was a bad mum for needing to work at all, let alone being there last night when it wasn't compulsory. And then I log in here to make myself feel a bit better and read this - with much the same message.

Is one evening to myself in a year and a half really too much to ask without the world judging you badly because of it?


sis · 19/12/2002 15:21

oh StayingIn, how annoying for you! On a previous thread someone suggested responding with a non-committal "interesting" to make it clear that the unasked for opinions were anything but interesting!


bells2 · 19/12/2002 15:26

I had a similar lecture yesterday from a bloke at work. Basically said I should stay at home because I'm missing out blah blah blah. He actually said "When my wife and I decided to have children, I said to her we are going to be fully committed to them so you'll have to give up your job". Have to say, I just laughed.


Bobbins · 19/12/2002 15:37

RAH ...this makes me mad.

If you are with them ALL the time they may not appreciate you as much. And.... if you're not happy, they're not happy. You're not their slave for flips sake, you are their Mother! mother meands many different things.


Bugsy · 19/12/2002 16:54

That's such a shame Stayingin. I think that most of the people who start wibbling on about mothers being chained to their children are usually those with minimal contact with children. I hope that you get a chance to go out again soon Stayingin and have a really good time.
Maintaining your own social life does not make you a bad parent.


RosieT · 19/12/2002 17:07

Yes, and where were the-person-that-was-lecturing you's children? I think I'm a better mum for working (part-time, admittedly) and it's important for our little ones to make relationships with other people. I was at my DS's Nursery Christmas party the other day, and whilst most of the mums were mingling round, yacking and nibbling mince pies while their children were running around with each other, I noticed one solemn little girl whose mum I know is adamantly anti-working (her daughter has just started - at 31/2 - doing a couple of mornings a week), stolidly munching her way through her sandwiches and crisps while her mum and granny loomed over her, inches from her elbow. I'm all for people doing whatever they feel is best re: working/not working, but I did think that looked a bit unhealthy.


Lindy · 19/12/2002 21:12

Stayingin - I am outraged on your behalf that anyone could make such an insensitive, unasked for & totally irrelevant comment to you at what is meant to be an enjoyable evening out. PLEASE don't let it get to you - I am amazed it was your first evening out for 16 months, you are obviously an extremely caring & devoted mother - must admit I had a night out when DS was less than two weeks old and ALWAYS go out at least once or twice a week, leaving DS with a babysitter if DH is not around. I know it's easier said than done, but please don't let this person's comments get to you, come to Mumsnet for support & a balance of views!


prufrock · 19/12/2002 22:51

StayingIn that is absolutly outrageous. In future you must make sure that you never go to a company do again - not because you should be spending more time with ds, but because you should be spending less time with prats like that. I had an interesting, vodka fuelled argument with a colleague the other night over exactly the same thing. He tried to tell me that mothers have to be the main carers because thats "natural" and that when he marries he will make sure that his wife is willing to give up work to have children. I sort of lost it at him. He's a Muslim which I hate (but only because it means he doesn't drink so always lose our arguments!)


bossykate · 19/12/2002 23:09

hi prufrock, interestingly enough, the most sexist comments i have been exposed to in my working environment have been at a diversity course. i went head to head with a guy who was insisting on the biologically suited argument. his argument was, basically, that women were not biologically suited to a career in investment banking, but were biologically suited to pregnancy and child rearing - so why bother to try and increase the number of senior females etc etc? i was the only woman on the course, but in defence of the guys there were sharp intakes of breath all round at this comment... although there could be a number of motivators for this reaction...

i pointed out that woment were not more biologically suited to changing nappies, doing a nursery run, reading stories etc...

to cap it all the idiot couldn't manage to work the coffee machine later - i had to show him! i suppose i was more biologically suited to doing this as it was a cookery/food prep type thing!

back to the poem. hmmm. yes i'm always thinking carpe diem wrt ds's desire for my company. hasn't stopped me trying to compose a satirical poetic response though - however, the muse has deserted me...


SofiaAmes · 19/12/2002 23:18

I don't know bossykate...I think women are more biologically suited to just about everything, because men are such morons. (sorry simonhoward)
My dh routinely spreads poo everywhere when changing ds (his 4th child) and dd (his 5th child). And really, can you imagine a man giving birth. They'd probably faint at the first Braxton Hicks.


WideWebWitch · 20/12/2002 00:56

Blimey, stayingin, like everyone else I'm outraged at these comments. What a cheeky git! I also think YES, you deserve a night out after 16 months of staying in. In fact, you owe yourself a good few nights/afternoons/days out IMO! Please don't feel guilty, this person was talking absolute toss!


suedonim · 20/12/2002 02:45

Stayingin, the small midwife-led Mat Unit near me positively encourages new parents to go out for a meal on the mum's last night in hospital, while the MW's babysit, so they can have a bit of 'us time'. So don't feel bad about your night out - that person is an eejit.

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