They Grow Up So Fast

Many expressions people use in everyday life simply roll off the tongue, travel through the ears and are not considered profound enough to deserve a second thought. But one has started to resonate with me in a way I didn’t know was possible for words so commonplace: They grow up so fast!

Every time I hear those words, I am startled.

A typical day in my life includes preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner, vacuuming, reading story books, bathing kids, making beds, running errands, changing diapers, combing hair, and scrubbing toilets. Then there’s getting to Quran class, ice skating lessons, and doctor appointments. Some days demand extra like when a child is running a fever and has a stomach flu, or when the pediatrician orders an ultrasound on your one-year olds’ oversized head. There’s also the teething toddler who is reverting back to his newborn ways at night, waking up every hour or so.

Other days will yet hold new surprises like when your five year old is suddenly having accidents, is refusing to sleep in her bed, and is afraid of the imaginary tigers that just might appear in her bedroom. There are the ever-prevailing power struggles of candy, television-and in my case-all things Disney Princess. Through all of this (and so much more), we are trying to plant the seeds of faith, kindness, self-reflection, self-reliance, and trust in God in the hearts and minds of our children.

The other day, I stopped to watch my children as they were playing. Instead of sorting the laundry or sweeping the kitchen, I stopped. As I watched my children playfully hit and chase each other, I thought to myself, I will never get this moment back. I will never again in my life be a 30-year old mother with two beautiful, lively, healthy children (alhamdullillah). One day, I may yearn for this moment and I won’t be able to even grasp its tail. I remembered just how fragile these moments are.

If Allah allows me to live to see my children grow, I don’t want to come to a devastating realization one day that they’ve simply grown up and that I’ve been sound asleep; that I missed their childhood because I was simply too busy for them or because I was careless in my priorities. And so I joined them in their play, and they welcomed it with that genuine, innocent enthusiasm that only children possess. Now when I hear someone say, “They grow up so fast, don’t they?,” I am awakened again. I am reminded to stop, look, love, play, and to thank Allah.

Hagar Emira

Hagar Emira lives in Maryland with her husband and two young children. She enjoys attending Islamic halaqas, reading, learning new things, and spending time with her family.

About Marwa Aly
  • Aishah

    MashaAllah, Hagar. Although my son is only 4.5 months old, I am seriously feeling the “they grow up so fast.” I was seriously just thinking about how I never used to understand why moms say that so much before I was a mom myself. May Allah reward you for sharing. :)

  • kelly


    beautiful how u took an everyday expression and intently contemplated it. May Allah keep your heart soft.

    when someone uses this expression with me, for a second, time slows down. it is most bizarre.

    taking time to play with your children, to wholeheartedly enjoy the moment, takes a lot of inner strength. ma’sha Allah.

  • Sumayah

    JAK Hagar for the beautiful reminder. My kids are grown up now ,so truly

    I know the meaning of “They grow up soo fast.” When my grandchildren were visiting last month one of my most memorable moments was when I was rocking my two year old granddaughter to sleep. A warm little body, curled up in my arms…..ohh it was bliss. Honestly,I had forgotten how wonderful those moments are. I miss them

  • Alia Al-Shalchi

    Jazaki Allahu khairan. This is a beautiful reminder to ‘stop and smell the roses’. The floor can be swept later and the laundry can be folded another day, but what matters is now.

    Loved it!

  • Fatima

    Ameen to what sister Alia said. for me, the biggest reminder is that even though my daughers are only 19 months apart, they grow up so much in those 19 months, understand so much, learn so much, gain so much.

  • Um Lubayah

    Absolutely, Hagar. My girls are only six months old, but I know I’ll miss this age when they grow up, and I try every day to “enjoy” them and savor every moment. When I do that we have so much fun together, instead of me worrying about leaked diapers and spit out food and constant nursing. Jazaki Allahu khairan!

  • Maha

    I loved your post too, Hagar. I need to be reminded to slow down, become aware of the beauty of more of these little everyday moments.

  • Um Tariq

    I agree completely. I have two children, alhamdulillah, and the eldest is 25 months old. When I get frustrated with allll the chores that never seem to end, I just take a few minutes of playtime for myself! Seriously, after a few rounds of hide-and-seek with Tariq, I start feeling energetic, and somewhat youthful!! Perhaps, it’s the laughter I get from it, or the much needed cardio. Who knows, but I am ever thankful for those few moments. Alhamduillah.

  • Zainab

    Thank you Hajar. We all need that reminder to stop, look, love, play and thank Allah.

  • Hagar

    Thanks for the comments, everyone! :-)