Just A Little Bit Longer

When our adopted daughter moved in with us as a foster kiddo, she had just turned four. Four was a fun age full of wonder and new things at every turn. Everywhere we went, wiser and more seasoned parents told me not to blink or wish for a different season because this time with her would go by so fast. Of course as a new mom, I ignored this advice and here we are almost five years later, and they were right!

As our girl has been with us for almost five years now, I look back and realize that the days have been long, but these years have gone by in the blink of an eye. Every day it seems like she is growing physically and emotionally.

© D-Keine from Getty Images Signature on Canva

About a month ago there was a weekend that seemed like my little girl was doing some major growing up. My girl came and confessed, “Mommy I think I’m too grown to be wearing bows.” Man, that broke this momma’s heart, especially since she confided in me that she had felt that way for a while. After some tears in my closet, we packed up a lot of her bows and gave them to a friend with a little girl who would love them. She decided to keep some, so I know not all is lost for that little girl I miss.

The same weekend my girl graduated from her booster seat she has always had to the regular seat in my car! That did this momma in. I did a lot of crying in my closet that weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to watch my little girl become a young lady, but she’s only eight and as her mommy, I want to keep her little just a bit longer.

Our world is pressuring children these days to grow up faster. They are maturing so much faster than I did when I was their age. They see more on TV, YouTube, and social media. They seem to always be on some sort of device. So, how can we keep them little a bit longer?

Eat dinner as a family. Most of the time you can find the three of us eating dinner around our dining room table. This is a great place to have great discussions. It’s also a great place to hear about your child’s day and ask them questions to get them thinking.

Play card and board games with your kids. Our girl loves to play games, especially with mommy and daddy, some of our favorites are Scrabble Jr., Guess Who, Uno, Dominos, and even marbles. Game night is a great family time where our girl can be a kid, but we can also teach her some important life lessons.

Let kids have time for free play. Kids need time to use their imagination, and what better way to do this than free play. As parents, we have started to feel like we need to plan every minute of each day for our children. Let them be bored, that’s when their imagination will come out.

I miss that sweet four-year-old that stole my heart five years ago. I wish I could keep her little forever, but all I can do is help protect her from this world that wants her to grow up faster than she should.

No one tells you that the hardest part of motherhood is when your kids grow up.

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Carissa South
Carissa is a loving wife, mother, and educator holding a masters of reading from the University of Central Oklahoma. She loves helping around their farm by taking care of the goats, chickens, and dogs. Her newly-adopted daughter brings lots of new challenges to her life as she is learning to balance work, family, and parenting.


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