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Growth Spurts: And Just Like That…

I often see social media posts, from moms especially, that begin with the words “And just like that…” And then they finish with phrases such as:

…he’s walking.

…she’s one year old.

…he’s starting kindergarten.

…she’s finished with elementary school.

…he’s off to his first dance.

…she’s finished with middle school.

…he’s driving.

….she’s starting her first job.

…he’s graduating.

…she’s going off to college.

…he’s getting married.

We parents who read these posts feel an empathetic twinge in our hearts, for we know the bittersweetness that comes at the cross-section of pride in our children’s milestones and sadness in our babies’ growing up. We know what the writers of these posts mean when they say, “And just like that…” We can hear the snap of their fingers or see the blink of their eyes, and we nod our heads in agreement with them that the parenting days are long but the years are short.

My husband and I are the parents of five children between the ages of 13 and 18. With that many children that close together, we feel like we experience an “And just like that…” moment every other week! We have really tried to be intentional in noticing and savoring all the moments along the way, but they do happen so quickly.

I have written about many of these moments in my “Growth Spurts” column over the past ten years, and many of you have been faithful readers. I am so thankful that I have been able to share a glimpse into the life of the Partridge family and that you have joined me on this continuous journey of learning and growing through motherhood. However, we are quickly coming to another “And just like that…” moment, since my last “Growth Spurts” column for Parents & Kids Magazine will be in next month’s issue. Once again, there it is–that bittersweetness.

I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I have had to write this column. It has served as a steady discipline for me to write down so many of my family’s stories–things that I probably would not have written anywhere else, no matter how good my intentions might have been. While we’re on the subject– Parents, write things down!! You will not remember them all! My youngest daughter’s baby book is basically a pile of sticky notes with a few words on them that make no sense to me now. Write it before you forget it. [End of sermon.]

Just because my children are all teenagers now doesn’t mean that I have stopped “growing through motherhood.” In fact, I am probably learning even more now, and the lessons are sometimes really, really tough. I plan to continue to share what I am learning about parenting (and marriage!) through continued writing, which you can find at carriebevellpartridge.com. I truly hope that you will join me in this new space where I will offer words of encouragement and support for marriage and family.

Thank you all for allowing me into your hearts and homes over the past decade. It has been an honor. I hope that you will continue the journey with me. And don’t miss my very last “Growth Spurts” column next month, when I will write a letter to my ten-years-ago-self. Much has been learned.

And just like that…it’s time for a new season in my life.

Carrie Bevell Partridge would like to thank Gretchen Cook, publisher of Parents & Kids Magazine, for giving her this writing opportunity that has been a complete joy and privilege.

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at carriebevellpartridge.com and Facebook.com/carriebevellpartridge.

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