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The sentence in question:

その反面{はんめん}、あっという間{ま}に成長{せいちょう}しちゃうなぁと、少{すこ}し寂{さび}しい気持{きも}ちにもなった。

For full context: https://www.satorireader.com/articles/sanzu-no-kawa-episode-2-edition-m

My attempt at translation:

On the other hand, (I thought that) they grow to adulthood in the blink of an eye (and) I became a bit sad.

Well, I think that 思う or 思って (to chain the 少{すこ}し寂{さび}しい気持{きも}ちにもなった phrase to the ...と思う phrase) was just omitted after the と particle here, but I want to be sure that I'm right and didn't misinterpret the sentence out of flippancy.

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I think you are misunderstanding 思う means, it doesn't apply here. 思う is when you think (you are not certain if is a fact or not, you think it may be true).

So there is no (I thought that) in this sentence. It is a fact that how the speaker felt and the speaker realized the fact the children grown up so quickly. 少{すこ}し寂{さび}しい気持{きも}ちにもなった is also a fact that how he felt because of the reason "the children grown up so quickly".

The speaker do not "think" (思う) he become bit sad, the speaker simply feel sad.

So how I would translate is:

(this is a speaking sentence and speaker is speaking in a very casual way like express to a close friend with a sensation feeling, so maybe you should consider express in such way.)

"On the other hand, they grown up quick... in just a blink of an eye... That made me little sad...."

This might not be a perfect translation, but I hope it gives you some direction.

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