The Star-Herald

They aren’t so little anymore

It is a simple fact of life. Kids grow up. 

As much as some parents, myself included, would like to prevent it, delay it or even deny it, the truth of the matter is children seem to mature more quickly than ever in today’s society.

Or maybe it just seems that way to me. 

As a parent of two daughters — one teenager and one pre-teen — the fact that my “little girls” are growing up is something that I can no longer deny. But that does not mean I have to like it. In my mind, there are times when I still think of both children as the tiny little bundles that I was able to carry easily with one arm, or hoist effortlessly onto my shoulders so they could see better at parades or concerts. 

Or even better, they are still small enough to toss into the air or clamp onto my legs as I walk with them around the house.

To this day, whenever I am vacuuming the house, I can hear a tiny little voice that belonged to our first-born saying “all done” whenever I turn the vacuum cleaner off. It was just something she always did and for some reason it has stuck with me.

The truth of the matter, however, is they are now much bigger and trying to do any of those activities would probably end with me taking a trip to the emergency room because my back blew out.

A few years ago, our oldest daughter started calling me “dad” instead of “daddy” when she was 10 or 11 years old. While that surely stung, I still had her little sister to rely on for all of the juvenile delights that come with parenthood.

Sadly, I know, that time is coming to an end. The harsh reality hit me a few weeks ago when I came home from work one day to discover that my youngest had removed all of the “Hello Kitty” wall stickers and posters from her room.

I was crushed. 

This was the same little girl that had me carve a Hello Kitty pumpkin for Halloween every year for as long as I can remember, and who once told me she planned to have a Hello Kitty car when she was old enough to drive.

Could it also be the same little girl who had a borderline obsession with “stuffies,” which made buying gifts super easy whenever a birthday or special occasion rolled around? I suppose it will also be just a matter of time as well for that massive stuffed animal collection to be bagged and donated.

I often find myself wondering who this new “tweenager” is that has taken her place. And more importantly, how can it be that our children are getting so mature and grown up when I have not aged at all?

Joseph Cyr is the assistant editor/senior reporter for Northeast Publishing, a division of Bangor Daily News. He can be reached at (207) 532-2281 or via email at jcyr@bangordailynews.com.

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