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Right now, right this minute, I do not wish for a happy future for my children. I don't want them to grow up and older and move away and marry and have children of their own and live happy lives far into a future where I no longer exist.

No. Don't move, I think. Don't grow...stay right where you are.

Right now, right this minute, I am indulging in the most selfish selfishness possible: I want to stop time from fleeting and KEEP them as they are RIGHT now. What was I talking about yesterday? The beauty of the ephemeral? The hell with that! Let my children stay this age, this wonderful age. Let their skin always be rosy and glowing with health and vigor, let their eyes always sparkle with laughter and learning, this time when all the jokes are new, and everything is still out there, waiting just for them.

It's such a transitory moment, this age. When they are becoming independent, yet still need me. When they can run and play and dress themselves, but still come for hugs and holding and kissing. When it's still okay to sit in my lap, and sing little songs with me, and let me read to them, and put their arms up for goodnight embraces and tuckings-in. They're like bright comets I cannot hold. Fiery-tailed stars whizzing past. We lit those lamps and now they're moving away from us, from me, and the light follows. I follow too, a helpless moth.

They don't know the reason I hug them a little too hard, and hold them a little too long, is because I'm trying to keep them there, to keep them safe, to keep them mine. When they squirm I force my arms to let them go and I wave with a cheerful smile as they skip away to play, to sleep, to grow. Oh! They are so beautiful! So funny and brave and bright!

I spend all my time at memorizing: the hollow at the base of my daughter's throat, the way my son's eyelashes sweep the curve of his cheeks as he sleeps. The monkey grimaces Karin produces so rapidly and effortlessly that leave us doubled over, breathless with laughter. The fierce joy and concentration Martin brings to every thing he does; his thirst for knowledge and creativity. The tiny freckle at the base of her foot, her rubbly-bubbly bellybutton. The way his dimple flashes in and out; morse code for smile, and his giggle that launches mine every time.

Conversations on the Couch:

*After ticklefight and cuddling, Martin and I are sitting at opposite ends of the sofa, trying to stick our feet in each other's faces*
Liz: Smell my feet! Muahahaha!
Martin: Pee-ew! Don't put your smelly feet in my face! That's unrespectable!
Liz: You mean dis-respectful.
Martin: *in perfect teenager* Whatever.

*After bouncing up and down on my head for several minutes, trying to kiss my hand, trying to tickle me, trying to stick her finger up her nose and then wipe it on me while laughing maniacally*
Karin: Can't we just calm down and be still for a bit?
Liz: *shocked & disbelieving* Who are you and what have you done with my daughter?!
mood: determined
music: Natalie Merchant—Wonder


Beautiful pictures of a different kind! Just yesterday, as I was watching Anders sitting on his own on the floor, holding something in his tiny hand and whacking it onto the floor, I had that same "I want to freeze them in time right now" moment.

I so hear you!

They're growing up sooooo fast.


I hear you loud and clear. I often think if only I could turn back time...

Moo. I want your kids. Give me them!

Come and get 'em, baby! :D

What? You don't deliver?!?!

Those moments with your children sound so wonderful. Video some of them :)

plastic vacuum sealing of children. ;)

boy and girl in the bubble!

My DD is small for her age and emotionally a bit immature. Everyone always thinks she is younger and I secretly like the fact I can baby her a bit longer ;)

wow--sticking her finger up her nose and trying to wipe it on you...
Motherhood is definitely a state of mind. :D
Yay you for enjoying the moments.

She's a piece of work, my monkey-girl. :)

This post very nearly made me cry. The beauty of your writing and the content. Ahh. My mantra has become: live wholly in the moment. Life, when you love it, is fleeting. All of it.

You are such an inspiration as a mother: you really SEE your children. As a teacher, I always wished more parents could do this. You give them such a gift by doing this.

i love this... you've got such a great verbal hold on the people your children are and are becoming.

I feel the same exact way every day. :)

LOVE this post, Liz. Timely for me, and I don't even have kids! My 6-foot-tall, 15-year-old niece just got her driver's permit...and the mere thought is FREAKING ME OUT. Driving to the grocery store after work yesterday, I was thinking about it and how it could NOT be possible that that loving, angelic 4-year-old who used to run to climb into my lap so she could burrow into me and fall asleep while sucking her thumb through her blankie was now DRIVING. Does.not.compute. My 15-year-old nephew is 6'2". Lately, when I'm around the kids, I lean over to the little one and tell her (loudly) to please tell her brother to STOP GROWING ALREADY! It breaks my heart to see them growing up--and away--so fast. And then I feel like a bad Auntie--that I want to keep them little--because really it's for selfish reasons. Man oh man, it's hard to watch them let go. Can't imagine what it must feel like for you. xoxo


this brought a fist-sized lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. I'm not a mom and I have no mommy moments of my own (except the kind youhave with furry kids), but I can imagine... I can read your journal and pretend that your mommy moments are mine and my throat constricts in sympathy.

This particularly struck a chord: "They're like bright comets I cannot hold. Fiery-tailed stars whizzing past. We lit those lamps and now they're moving away from us, from me, and the light follows. I follow too, a helpless moth." I think there's a painting in that. Must write it down so I don't forget it....

xo Wee

I think you know what I will say but I'll say it anyway.

I had those moments of wanting to freeze Michele in time. In fact it got to be a family joke that when her birthday came I pretended that she was one year YOUNGER instead of one year older so that I could keep my sweet girl with me forever. I can remember having near-panic-attacks at the knowledge that she really would grow up and not be my child-child anymore. But here is the part you know I will say:

It really, really is okay that they grow up and start lives of their own and you don't see them everyday. The places in your heart where they have burrowed so deeply fill up with love for them and memories of them and there is only occasionally sadness that you can't still stick your feet in their faces and cause them to react.

Having adult children is a joy too - it's just a different kind of joy. One isn't really better than the other. It's all joy. I promise.

I will take your (and my mom's, I'm sure) word for it :)

I know it's okay, and there are even some days when I CAN'T WAIT for them to grow up and move out :P


You're so right- My words too! Just remember to give them roots and wings- that's the most important thing! Love, Lizardmom

ask your mom

I hear you and love that you can be so present and savor all that you have right now-- but ask your mom if it doesn't just keep getting better and better-- i bet she'll tell you it gets better and better.




I've enjoyed reading your journal about life in Sweden. You write beautifully, and your latest entry about wanting to hold on to their childhood really struck me, as I often do the same thing with my 7 year old son.

(OK, back to lurking!)

Thank you so much! That was really nice of you :)

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lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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