Ok, so by this time everyone knows I am an actress and also an older parent….. And as an older parent I admit, I am A LOT more tired! Yes! My knees and back ain’t what they used to be!! Sometimes I regret waiting so long to have a child but, I don’t make the rules. The universe decided it was going to take me a while to get to be a mom! (See infertility blog if you have zero idea about what I’m speaking) Anyhoo! I figure it is the quality of the years and not the quantity. I also realize that some of the amazing benefits of being an older parent are 1) I am a lot more patient than I would have been when I was younger. 2) I get to be like a sponge & LEARN from all my friends who are my age…. And whose kids are teenagers or older!!!! I ask millions of questions… What, when, where & how did they navigate parenthood? Diapers? Teething? Schools? Doctors? And how the heck to deal with teenagers!!! (I hear they can be pretty scary but, if I know this ahead of time, then I know it’s not just my kid who becomes a psycho and I can be more prepared!) Kinda like the Cliff’s notes of parenting!!! It’s pretty awesome!!
But the one thing I hear from almost EVERYONE is “They grow SO FAST!!” I mean when I was a new parent I was like “Fine, fine, FINE! Yes, I get it. It goes fast.” I am sleep deprived and exhausted, this is tough. Enough already!” But now my daughter is 4 and I am in shock!!! Holy crap they were right!!! The weird part? I play moms all the time! I have been doing this for many, many years! Before I had a baby I was vaguely trying to understand being a mom (it’s a hard concept to grasp but I did my best) and now that I am a mom for real and I am also on a show “Switched at Birth” where I play the mom of not one but two teenage girls, it is surreal!!!!!!!!!!!
Because I am doing scenes with teenage girls by day,, and going home to my 4 yr old girl at night!!! On the show my job is to take the leap in my imagination and “pretend” these girls are mine. While shooting I realize as I am doing scenes with these girls,,hugging these actresses, arguing with them, sharing mature girl time with them; THAT is a glimpse into the future with my daughter!!!!!!!!! It is mind boggling to me that my daughter will one day be their size! Speaking like they do, and wearing make up and THOSE clothes!!
I start missing my daughter’s toddler years already!!!!! I swear I even get teary eyed… I go home and I know that I will not always have to deal with the not-able-to-wear-a-princess-dress-in-a- rainstorm drama, or have that little body to cuddle or gently (or not so gently) plop into my lap during dinner time. Or give me “drop hugs” where she races at me and knocks me down to the floor (ow!) or insist that I stop mid stride, while carrying massive amounts of groceries, to see the first star in the night sky and take the time to be fascinated by it!!! All these sweet little girl moments and even the crazy making ones will be gone!!!!
Yes, I know new big girl/ teenage/ grown up moments will all come and take their place but these precious/exhausting times will be gone. And I will miss them SO FRIKKIN MUCH!!!!!!!!!!! I can now say from experience… IT GOES Too FAST!!!!!!!! I mean the fact that I used to carry my daughter in a carrier and now she walks by my side seems simultaneously like yesterday and million years ago!
I have learned that I have to slow down and appreciate that my daughter still needs me, still wants me to help her negotiate everything in her life. I mean EVERYTHING! Be it a problem with sand in her shoes, the potty, teeth brushing or ask me literally a zillion questions after she has seen a new kids TV show… Or make me do voices for all 9 dolls or play princess/doctor/kitty dress up for 1hr while I have a headache at the end of a long day!!!!! I know I won’t ALWAYS have the chance. There will come a time when she does not need or want me!!! Because that is what we are trying to do right? Raise children who don’t need us so much, who can make that big important decision for themselves ( Yes! I will totally and enthusiastically be there for her if she needs me!! Or (gasp!) remembers to call me! (*insert tear here) or who can go against the peer pressure if she feels it isn’t right for her. Or who can do the right thing EVEN when no one is looking…… Independence! But that means,,, less cuddle time, less explaining , cajoling, urging, reprimanding, less everything….omg, I’m gonna miss my baby so much!!!!
And I do already…. Especially when I am at work and see how independent and autonomous my “pretend” girls are!!!! THAT is gonna be my daughter some day! Just like these young women!!!! And I am gonna be so so so proud. But I will miss these baby years!
So all this to say: Whenever you are a new parent, or thinking about becoming one, or like me at one time, TRYING desperately to become one,,, let me be ANOTHER parent two tells you “it goes really fast and please take the time to stop and appreciate these little beings who won’t be little forever.”
Till next time… C