You are currently viewing When Did the Little Fingers Disappear?

When Did the Little Fingers Disappear?

One day it all seems to stop for mommas.

When your children are young, trips to the bathroom usually include little fingers peeking under the door, bringing with them a constant reminder of how you’ll forever be needed. Sometimes it makes you smile, but it can also be a reminder of the minute or two of peace and quiet you so desperately need.

But one day it stops, and those little fingers go away

One day, without you even realizing it, no one calls out to you, no one even notices that you’ve gone to the bathroom. One day the peace and quiet is louder than the little voices that went along with the wiggling fingers begging for your attention.

As your children grow, you look forward to each new stage. After all, no one misses cleaning dirty diapers. Filling and cleaning baby bottles aren’t chores to be missed either even if nighttime feeding snuggles are.

One day it stops even if you’re not completely aware that all the missed experiences are quickly being replaced by new ones.

One day your baby stays a little longer in your arms as you read him a book, pointing to the words you’ve told him time and time again, and the next day he’s old enough to read his bedtime stories to you. You don’t even notice when your lap is empty until you glance in his room one night, finding him curled up in a corner, lost inside a story that you’ve never even read.

One day bedtime stories just stop

One day your kids cry when you drop them off at school, clinging to you as you gently peel their fingers off you, but the next day they don’t even glance your way. Then one day you stand at the door of your home, waving slowly as you watch them drive away without you, setting you free, leaving you with time to look around and wonder how to spend all the extra hours you’ve always dreamed about, time that you now have no idea how to fill.

Day by day you wish for the next stage, the next taste of freedom, until the day comes when you stop in your tracks every time your teenager wants to spend time with you. You’ve learned the value of just one day, and you look forward to each one you get, finally understanding their worth.

You don’t even notice it’s gone

And then one day it all stops, but you don’t even notice because you’re busy helping your child fill out college applications, packing her up to move to a dorm room, picking out a wedding dress, all the while living these steps side by side, together but alone, as each one leads your child a little further away from you.

Until one day it stops.

And you find yourself looking for those fingers, wishing for that voice, wanting there to be one more stage, but finally understanding that the stages melted into each other, passing you by and only leaving behind a trace of the life you knew, leaving you with memories that flood every minute of every day.

You just never knew that one day it would all stop.

Then one night the phone rings, interrupting the silence that’s so loud it deafens you. You hear the voice on the other end of the phone, the voice that makes time stand still. You close your eyes and listen, letting the voice of your child take you back, letting the memories of all the years rush over you, reminding you that this last stage can be the best.

This is the day your child has become your friend.


Sandy Brannan, author of Becoming Invisible, So Much Stays Hidden, Masquerade, and Frozen in Time, teaches middle school and high school English. Sandy's idea of a perfect day is one spent creating memories with her grandchildren. This usually includes coloring and reading a lot of books. You can read more of Sandy's work on her blog at

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Helen Brannan

    Motherhood is just like Sandy captured 🙂
    The stages fly by before you realize it. You look up like she says and they are grown and you are now a Nana!! Life is wonderful and so are our children and the memories we make with them!!

Leave a Reply