I know it's cliche to say they grow up too fast. Let's face it, though. It's true. It's not something you realize as a child. You never seem to grow up fast enough when you're a kid or teenager. But once you start having children or nieces and nephews of your own this cliche smacks you in the face sometimes.
This is my niece at my wedding 13 years ago. She wasn't quite a year old. I spent many, many hours playing with her and keeping her when my brother-in-law and his family lived here. I still remember the day she was born. My husband and I were still in college, but we came down as soon as we could. He is such a great uncle and just a kid magnet in general and has been excited about the birth of all 5 of our nieces and nephews. She was such a pleasant baby. Still such a pleasant girl, young lady.
A couple of weeks ago I posted this photo below for one of my photos of the day. It was Spring Break and my brother-in-law and his family were down visiting. My niece walked past me saying hello as I entered the house and it was one of those "smack you in the face" moments. Suddenly my sweet M was taller than me. While I've had these type of moments before with her older brother, our oldest nephew, I just really wasn't expecting it on this day. She's a couple of inches taller than me now. Maybe more. When did that happen.
Watching her (as well as all our nieces and nephews) grow up is such a joy. She's a beautiful, confident, smart and athletic young lady. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have done such a great job raising her and her brother.
I know I'll enjoy seeing what she becomes and where life takes her. I'll enjoy seeing it with all our nieces and nephews and with my own Squirt. Their graduations, their college graduation, their weddings, all experiences in their lives I know I'll enjoy being a part of. I refuse to see all this as me getting older.
I do wish I could slow time down though. Because as cliche as it sounds they really do grow up too fast.