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Growing Pains

May 26, 2017

Written by Marykate O’Malley, mother of three wonderful children Gladwyne PA 


And they just keep growing….

My phone zonked out on me the other night in the midst of a soccer practice, a baseball game, a lacrosse game, with an orchestra concert to follow…. I snatched my daughter’s phone and took on the persona of an almost 13 year old using google maps for a new field I have never been to… and why am I always in Conshohocken at rush hour fighting the masses trying to get home from work, to get my child on or off a field. Children were picked up at half times, and top of the 6th which is top of the 9th for Little League, and dropped off in uniforms and cleats or concert clothes, having transformed Superman style from athletic wear to orchestra ready. I took my seat having survived the blackout of 2017 with no phone amidst a full schedule and sat to drink in Jesu Joy, and Frere Jacques, videoing my youngest from my eldest child’s phone.

There are days that are hurried and rushed and yes stressed, and then you find yourself in an auditorium listening to children who were plucking strings in October, playing Beethoven in May.

They just keep growing.

And when my phone came back from it’s near death experience, it was November 2015 with photographs of my children in fields of sunflowers, and apple picking, a trip to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the third grade class play. Time is alluding me, time is moving too fast….


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I am coming up against lasts again… the last social at school for all my children , the last time I have 2 in elementary school, the last year of elementary for my son. The last Family Fun Night with my son a student… I went looking for him during the fair to doll out more tickets, and spotted a group of boys playing football on the far field as he does every recess, every Family Fun night. As I drew closer I realized they were too small, 2nd and 3rd graders tops. And with an ache realized his group wouldn’t be there next year. He would be replaced by another group of boys. And how many boys played football at recess over the years, moving on to adolescence while others takes their place. Next year he would be in Middle School where lunch time is talking with friends, stopping at your locker for a binder, not playing a pick up game with a steady Q listening for the recess bell to ring….. time is alluding me….

I have been a mother to infants, with middle of the night feedings in a green toile nursery in Connecticut rocking my baby thinking, somewhere in London they are waking and starting their day… and there I was in on the eastern seaboard nursing my baby, softly singing a lullaby while a lone star lit the quiet moonless sky. I have been a mother to toddlers, and no and mine and why, and cheerios and carrying babies on hips and in strollers, double strollers while I would sing with them, rhyme with them, push them on swings, hold their hand…. I have been a mother to elementary school children with cupcakes for class parties, bus stops, playdates, and crayons, more singing, and them reading to me, sidelines, and celebrations, watching them blossom into them…

And now in a few days… the baby I rocked in the toile nursery will be thirteen, thirteen of questions and defining, thirteen of friends, and inside jokes, of braces, growth spurts, and insightful comments, and looking at this world and taking it all in and presenting it back to your mother. This mother that rocked you, that sang to you, that felt an ache when she saw a gang of boys calling plays and playing football on the field at Family Fun night realizing her son wouldn’t be there next year…

And what I never expected when I rocked my babies in the dark of night, a lone star to light the moonless sky, was that I would be the one growing with them. For what is a child than to challenge us to always be better, to be worthy of them.


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  1. Lauralynn

      on May 27, 2017 10:55 am

    As always MK you are able to so eloquently describe this thing called motherhood and even though some of the actual facts of our stories differ, you are able to pinpoint–exactly– the feelings that accompany us as we join our kids on their own journeys as they grow up , and at some point realizing how much we ourselves have grown. Being a mother has been one of the most educational experiences of my entire life and I so appreciate that you are able to articulate so much of that !! I am so lucky to be able to have you to learn from and look up to as a woman and mother… xox


  2. Marykate

      on May 28, 2017 11:11 pm

    You know I think the world of you Lauralynn! You are such a strong and inspirational mother friend and sister. Liam is so blessed to have you! We all are. And motherhood is a journey – in many ways a journey to ourselves. Who knew!! Xoxo and thanks for your comments :) :) Mk


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