A little backstory – we asked the Parents of Reddit to share some of the moments they realized that their children were growing up in front of their eyes. It fits perfectly with the theme of our new personalized book for kids and adults, “Amelia, You’ll Always Be My Little Girl”, a book about watching your child grow up and realizing that no matter how old they get, they’ll always still be your baby.
Get the tissues ready…
There were some really sweet comments that people left us, and plenty of funny ones as well. Then there was this. Everyone who has read this either complained of ninja onion cutters, allergies, sweaty eyes, you name it. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Here’s what it says:
I’m a father to two boys. There have been so many stages, and it seems like you close a door, and open a new one almost every week. But the biggest one was when my son told me he didn’t want me to read him a bedtime story.
My parents read to me a lot, and I read tons as a kid. When we had out first kid, I read to him almost every night. Even when he was too little to know what I was reading. When he was 4, he had a little brother, and I read to him too. Sometimes together, sometimes different stories for each in their own rooms. But almost every night I could, I would do it. It was just part of our life. Even throughout a pretty rough separation and divorce, my ex would let me come over to read to them most nights, and I always did it when they stayed with me.
We read so many things together. Some weird stuff, some scary stuff, some new books and some classics. Harry Potter, Narnia, tons of awesome adventures together. In the mornings on the way to school sometimes we’d talk about what we read, what we thought was coming up, which characters we liked, etc.
But then, many years ago, we were getting ready for bed at my place, and my 14 yo told me he was “fine to skip the story tonight.” I’d been mentally preparing for the day he’d stop thinking it was cool to have bedtime stories but I admit it still caught me off guard. I tried to play it cool, told him that was no big deal, good night, see you in the morning. I read a different story to my younger son alone.
It was a bad night for me. A lot of tears, some happy, mostly sad. It was this weird combination of fear, a regret, but also acknowledging that my kids were growing up, and that I was proud of the people they were and who they were becoming. Thankful for that time together, but also grief that it was ending and would be replaced by something else.
The next morning the older kid and I had a chance to talk. I decided to just lay it out for him and tell him that I was proud of him, and amazed at how fast he was growing up. But that I wasn’t ready to stop reading to him. He got real quiet.
I told him I know his life is changing a lot, and that it’s not particularly cool but that I loved that time, and loved sharing those stories with him. I said that if he really didn’t want to, we could stop, but that I hoped he’d let me keep going.
He said he didn’t think it was uncool. That he loved it too, and that he just thought I might want a break once in a while. He didn’t really want to stop, but for some reason he thought he was supposed to want to stop that he was supposed to grow up or grow out of it but deep down that made him sad. He cried, I cried, it was a whole happy tearful mess, but in the end we decided to keep reading together for a long time.
Creating unforgettable moments
Yeah, it got us, too. So when it comes to having something meaningful to read together with your kids, make it even more heartfelt with “Aaron, You’ll Always Be My Little Boy”. Yeah, we may be gluttons for punishment, but it’s so moving and heartfelt, you just can’t beat it.