Goodness me, haven’t I grown?

Posted on September 15, 2010

The Builder went to the Big Smoke today. An unexpected trip to play courier for work. He had to visit our old suburb, and had time to photograph the magnolia tree in full flower out the front of our old house. We planted that tree before Mr6 was born. A tiny little twig of thing (the tree, not the baby). Now it’s four metres tall and covered in white, dish-sized, scented blooms. So beautiful.

If that tree were a child, our first response upon seeing it would be ‘goodness me, haven’t you grown?’. When you’re a kid, that phrase drives you nuts. Of course you’ve grown in the month/year/lifetime since this grown up laid eyes on you. As a sensitive teenage girl, you’re likely to turn this simple comment into a criticism of your general hugeness.

It’s not until you’re a grown-up yourself that you understand what those people were on about. That it wasn’t a comment about you at all. That what they were really saying was this: ‘goodness me, haven’t I grown older?’

There’s nothing like the growing of other people’s children to remind you that time is passing. You see your own every day and stop occasionally to think ‘wasn’t it just yesterday that you first said ‘mama’?’, but mostly you’re wondering why you hear ‘Mu-u-um’ in a whiney voice 50 times a day. But other people’s kids, particularly those that you don’t see often, give you pause for thought.

They personify the ever-forward march of time, as they progress in leaps and bounds from piggytails and pinafores, through High School Musical, and into skinny jeans, hairstyles inspired by The Runaways, and a whole lot of ‘whatever’. They let you know that while you might still feel young and even look young (lucky you), chances are that you’re no longer young. Or at least not as young as you were ten years ago.

Trees are the same. Only they don’t say ‘whatever’.

{image: BloomGrowLove}


  1. Stacia

    Every time I look at pictures from our first year in this house, I am amazed by how tiny the two little oak trees are in our front yard, Practically newborns. Now, they’re almost as tall as the house. My, how they’ve grown. =>

  2. anjwritesabout.com

    Nothing to say except, I continue to love your bloody blog!! Beautiful 🙂

    Your posts always seem to brighten my day…so thanks ever so much!

  3. River

    This is so true. I clearly remember pottering about the kitchen with my own small kids underfoot, seems like just last year, but I now have grandchildren aged 16 and 14.

  4. Becky

    Love that photo and what you’re saying is so true. Whenever I go to visit my brothers (10 and 12 years younger than me) I just can’t believe how much they’ve grown and changed.

  5. MultipleMum

    Children are the best reminder of the passage of time, aren’ they? I love that you forget how little they were last year until you see a photo of them.

    Nothing better than an annual picture of a child and a tree so you can watch each of them grow together. Must take a trip past your tree to look for myself 🙂


    So true!

    I’m sounding more and more like my mum – but the older I get and the more kids our friends have, the more often I hear myself say, “the years are just flying by!”

    beautiful image by the way…

  7. Green Mama

    I hope you took a cutting of that gorgeous tree for your new place?

  8. Carolyn

    I bought my sister in law a magnolia tree for her birthday last month, and last week she gifted us all with the birth of a gorgeous baby girl named Matilda. I’m looking forward to watching them both change as they grow!

  9. Ofthesea

    I love your writiiiiing!!!!

    That will be all.

    Ever your fan,


  10. alliecat

    You are so right. Time is so evident in it’s passing when it comes to children and their growing. I don’t think it’s just me when I say that as I get older, time seems to move faster. Or maybe I’m just busier now!

  11. Kerry

    You are so right about it being an often unconscious reminder to ourselves that we’re getting older. I began to notice it first when I started making comments about how young police officers looked! Turning into my mother!! And right now, I’m looking forward to seeing the magnolia I planted last year give me a bloom or two soon…these things take time in Canberr!

  12. Maxabella

    I drove by your old place (and my old place on the way) last weekend and I was marvelling at exactly the same thing. It looks amazing! I was also marvelling at how wxactly the same the rest of your neighbourhood looked…

  13. Alex Brooks

    Trees never talk back. They don’t smear Vegemite on the walls. And they don’t need a meal cooked for them every night. What’s not to love about a tree?

  14. Aging Mommy

    We have a magnolia tree planted when we bought our house and now four years later it has grown so much. But nothing actually reminds me more of how quickly time passes and how fast children grow and change than my own daughter – not funnily enough other people’s children but my own. She has grown so much the last few weeks and changed so very much too. Sigh…..

  15. Gill@OurParklife

    Recently, I have found myself babbling about how much the children around me have grown..I have been gone for just 5 weeks and to be honest, as soon as I saw most of the kids we know I really and truly could only gasp at how much they have all grown…

    I obviously aged a lot myself in the last 5 weeks….!

  16. allison tait

    Is lovely, isn’t it? You can buy it on Etsy by following the image link. So pretty.

  17. Deer Baby

    I adore that photo of the girl by the magnolia. Gorgeous.

    I think I see this most with my stepniece who I don’t see that often. I see my friend’s kids all the time so it’s not so noticeable. When I first met her she was about 6 or 7 and cute as a button. Now she’s almost 14 and, whilst still cute, is permanently attached to her Macbook or headphones or texting, yawns when we say we’re going down the beach because she will DIE if we don’t go round the shops and I have to do some serious research about what to buy for Christmas that is seriously cool. Vouchers for American Apparel or Hollister usually do the job. And she’s just started saying ‘Whatever.’

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