Please Don’t Tell Me How Fast It Goes

childhood goes fast

We stood in line at Home Depot. Our cart, weighed down with plants that would finally fill one of our empty flower beds. Our latest project. My daughter, chatting away admiring the bright pink flowers balanced on the bottom. The flowers she believes she picked out, but the reality is I guided her in that decision with my secret “get what I want” mom gene.

An older gentleman stood behind us in line and watched with a smile. As our eyes met he said, “Savor this time. It goes by so fast.”

Advice I used to tell myself in moments of motherhood that were challenging or frustrating. Everything is temporary! Both the good and the bad. Now though, my head just screamed, “Don’t tell me how fast it goes. You have no idea!”

In real time I smiled politely and said, “I know”.

It’s in these moments I wish people could just see our story. I don’t want to hear how I will miss the stress and headache of my kids arguing. How someday the tornado path of destruction they leave behind them will be my greatest desire. I also don’t want to hear how sad it is as they grow up and pull away from you. You have no idea!

In the blink of an eye, 7 years was over! There is nothing more final than death. It was unexpected. Earth shattering. The ripples of this loss never end and touch every aspect of my life. Forever.

Child loss teaches us the word miss doesn’t even begin to come close to how it feels. It’s so much more than missing! Yet, an appropriate word doesn’t exist.

This advice is expected from complete strangers in line behind you at Home Depot. You learn not to engage in those conversations because the discomfort people feel when they know your story is worse. It’s most disheartening with this advice comes from friends and family members, and it does! Did they forget? My heart aches at the thought.

I wish more than anything this was advice I needed to hear. Every time I fight the urge to say, “Believe me I know how fast it goes. My son died.” The angry part of me wants to lash out. The frustrated part of me wants to explain I know better than most how much it will be missed.

I’d give anything to go back to being that person that constantly told herself “everything is temporary”. This time I would understand what it really meant.

They say life is what happens when you are making plans. It is. Life comes at you furious and unrelenting. Believe me when I say it goes fast! Someday you will miss it. I hope you never understand what missing it means for me.

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