Childhood, Life, Motherhood

When Did The Trees Get So Big?


I was driving through my neighborhood this morning and noticed the trees that line the streets.

When did these trees get so big? I said out loud to no one.

A lot of my life is spent looking straight ahead; at the road while I am driving in my car, at the soccer field where my youngest daughter plays, through the camera lens while documenting important events.

But on this day, I veered my gaze to the right of my well-traveled neighborhood streets. Then to the left.

Good God when did they get so large? 


My oldest daughter just finished the last day of her junior year in high school a few weeks ago.

You know what that means?

The year she has anticipated her entire school career is finally here.

The year I have secretly been dreading, is finally here.

I have been weepy a lot more than normal these past few weeks. A song from 2010 put me over the edge one warm spring afternoon.

Wasn’t 2010, like, two years ago?


I have written about being “in the thick of it” in reference to parenting children.

In the thick of it, I was stressed out a lot, tired, complaining daily, overworked and underpaid. Just ready to be out of “in the thick of it”.

At the time, motherhood was filled with a lot more stress, a lot of dirty diapers, a lot more wiping faces and butts.

And in the old cliché adage, I now look back and wish I had enjoyed my children more when we were “in the thick of it”.


Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom and have enjoyed most moments but it is as my oldest is about to leave the nest that I am realizing how many more moments I could have taken in.

I think even if you were 100% present in your children’s lives, volunteering at all of their events, attending all of their games, and only had positive experiences, you would still realize there were many more moments you could have taken in.

Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve.

The high school bus passed down the street this morning as we were in our morning routine of yelling about the day from one room to another, making breakfasts, packing lunch, making sure the field day money was in the backpack and I had a moment of thinking about the “kids” who just graduated high school.

I knew a lot of those “kids” who graduated a few Sunday’s ago. Who played dress up in our home, ate peanut butter sandwiches on our back patio, traded fruit chews on our front stoop.

They no longer take that school bus that rambles down our street each day.


I remember when that bus took Anna to school. Replaced by riding to school with friends. Replaced by driving herself.


I have an almost fourth grader in Ella now and she is still okay with hanging out with us, sleeping in our room as was her older sister at this age.

I was always happy that we had an almost eight-year age gap in our girls for many reasons but never happier than now because I can appreciate these moments with Ella that I might not have necessarily appreciated with Anna.

Most likely because when she was Ella’s age, I was knee-deep in sleepless nights, diaper changes and colic.

I will miss the noise. I will miss the mess. I will miss the busyness of it all.

I know I still have many years left in the mothering part of my motherhood gig but this time, I will take it in a little more.


For the first time in seven years, I am taking the summer off of writing on my blog.

I will be sharing old posts here and there, I might even throw in an occasional giveaway and of course my obligatory Netflix posts,  but for the most part, I won’t be writing new content until the end of August.

Because those trees are growing and I just don’t want to miss a minute of it.


18 thoughts on “When Did The Trees Get So Big?”

  1. I long for the diaper days, as they somehow seem less stressful sometimes than being in this new thick of 17 and OH MY GOSH HE WILL BE 20 IN ONE MONTH )oops, was I shouting?) We will be here waiting with open arms, tissues and peanut m&m’s when you return. Soak it in, love them up!


  2. ((Stands up and applauds)) Who knew kids grew up this fast? My son graduated on Friday and it was one of the proudest and one of the scariest moments in my life. Have a ball on your summer vacation. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and don’t eat too many smores (a dozen in one sitting is acceptable). See you in the fall 🙂


  3. I thought having a senior would be less sad the second time around. It’s not. Still sad and happy and exciting and terrifying.
    We can commiserate over pie any time you want.


  4. Kari. I’m moved to almost (almost!) speechlessness. Your writing has a depth to it that I haven’t noticed until now. I like it. A lot.

    Enjoy your Summer. We have been knee deep in adoption papers/visits/and carrying – ons for many months. I disappeared from my beginning to write again because I have a mouth and I didn’t want my writings to negatively impact our future adoptions. But I’m still out here and I’ll update privately on FB as things develop for us. I miss you!! I look forward to your writing as you emerge from your break.


    1. Friend, I am here whenever you want to write to get the feelings out. If even in an email.
      I miss you too. Have a wonderful summer!


  5. Oh, Kari. This one hits home and hard. Yes, take the summer off. Soak up all the moments you can. That senior year was a heart-wrencher for me. And there’s nothing you can do but go through it, which I recommend doing with your heart and eyes wide open. Raising a child and then letting her go is such a profound experience, and I feel as if we don’t truly acknowledge that in our culture. Maybe we don’t think it is because so many of us go through it? All I know is that, for me, letting my babies go has been nearly as transformative as their birth was. I’ll be thinking of you.


    1. You nailed it: we don’t acknowledge that in our culture.
      Thank you for being a good friend.
      I am going to need that friendship even more next year.

      Totally off topic, have you been writing? I haven’t seen any blog posts but am afraid I am missing them. My Bloglovin’ is irritating me.


      1. No, I haven’t been writing. In February my son decided to enlist in the Marines, and…I don’t know. The past two years have been really hard, and I think a lot of things have been catching up with me. Life’s been coming at me so fast and furious this spring I haven’t had much time to reflect. And the state of the world right now? It’s hard (for me) to know how to best spend the time and energy I have. I’ve been using most of it to take care of my family and connect with them. So, it’s not you (or Bloglovin’). It’s me. 🙂


  6. Beautifully written! My experience has been the complete opposite – I’m so glad those trees are bigger now! The end of the school year must bring up nostalgic feelings for many of us. I wrote about the same thing this week.

    Enjoy your summer! The last summer vacation before senior year is a big deal.


    1. I am so glad to hear this opposite view! I need to work on being glad that they are bigger and I really think that will come. Eventually.
      Enjoy your summer as well!


  7. Kari, I loved this post. As someone who has raised and successfully released two offspring into the wild, I can honestly say that I am sometimes struck by the absurdity of wishing they’d get through this phase or that while in the thick of it – it’s the craziest, busiest, just off-the-wall ridiculous times that make me smile. The silly things of laughing at the kitchen table, baking together or just having them gang up on me because I am “me.” I send you much love and just a photographic memory to store the memories of not only the big events, but also of the every day-type simple mundane things. ❤


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