I was talking with my sister in law, Christine, the other day about all the kids (Ryan and Christine have 3 boys that stair-step our kids in age) and thinking how BIG each of my children have gotten. You remember when your kid was born you used to count the week of the age of the baby...until they get to be about 3 months old and then you start counting their age by the month...until about 2 years old. Why is that? It seems so weird to me, but yet, I still did it. And now as a mom of 3 (soon to be 4), I can't seem to recall certain dates correctly unless I go by the age of the child that was with me or the age of the youngest. Like one of our trips to Canada...we didn't have Duncan (in fact I had JUST gotten pregnant with him) so I can recall what we did on that particular trip because of Isannah's age. I donno, it just seems funny to gauge time in this manner. All that to say we were coming home from Buffalo Wild Wings last night and listening to my children talk made me realize how fast time has gone and how much I miss how the girls used to say words or have conversations with me. Duncan is still in the HILARIOUS stage of how he says things and WHAT he says. Sadly I didn't blog when my girls were younger so I don't have as many funny things that they used to say and because they were so close and I was so busy I regretfully did not write enough of them down. However there are a few that seem to stick out. I decided that I needed, mostly for me, to 'write down' those things...those particular things that I don't want to forget and that I'm finding I really do miss.
... the way that Isannah used to say her alphabet..."A, B, C....L-eh-men-oh-peee...v, double me, X, Y, Zeeee!!!
... how Natty aptly named Isannah 'Nana' the moment she saw her
... how chubby Isannah's cheeks were and her little piggy tails
... how Natty used to 'nurse' her baby when I would nurse Isannah
... the way the girls would smell of the Johnson and Johnson's baby lotion after being bathed
... how the girls begged me to sing them 'Jesus Loves Me' EVERY night and their sweet little voices singing along with me
... the way Natty would say 'yes Sir!'
Upon writing the things that I miss about the girls I went in search (a frantic search since they were NOT where I thought they were going to be!) for their baby books to that I could see if there was anything that I did happen to write down...I didn't find much...except that as I opened Natty's overflowing baby book(typical first child right? ugh, I had guilt pulling out Isannah's because it was nowhere near as filled...) I was immersed in memories. I read through my note of Nataleigh's pregnancy...I was 22 when I got pregnant with her and 23 when I had her. HOLY CRAP I WAS SO YOUNG!!!! I look at most college kids and think, oh my gosh...does you're mother know you are here? Are you old enough to be driving?? I realize I'm only 30, but good Lord, they all look SO young!? I got pregnant with Isannah when Natty was only 4 months old (...just an FYI: Breast feeding IS NOT a viable birth control method) and Isannah came 4 weeks EARLY bringing them to a magic 11 months and 3 weeks apart: IRISH TWINS. I was 24 when I had Isannah...I wouldn't change a thing, but wow, I seriously have a hard time remembering things!!!
Anyway...I realized what those irritating people had said, about enjoying my kids while they are young and cherish the time when they are little...blah blah blah... *chewing on glass to admit* but jeepers...THEY WERE RIGHT!? As I read a note I wrote to Natty about how excited I was that she was growing in my belly...I started crying! I often forget in the hassles and chaos of life that I really DO need to STOP and ENJOY my children! It is going by so fast!! Where along the way did I forget that these precious babies are my GIFTS from God Himself? Wow, hello 2x4 to the face!? Sometimes I envy the college aged friends we have and I think, good grief...if I had all that time what would I do!? But thinking about it...WHAT did I do? I can't even remember life before children...I remember thinking I can't wait to get to this next stage in life...and not truly enjoying or embracing the season of life that God placed me in. Like now, swamped in the middle of starting a new school year, enduring an adoption process, preschool runs every other day, a crazy cop schedule, and life in general, it is a daily reminder that my children are my gift...not just my JOB, but my PRIVILEGE.
Like those years I let go by not truly enjoying my college life season, I am suddenly faced with the reality that I'm still doing it today! Looking forward to the 'next thing' instead of breathing in the wonderful scents (& some not so wonderful but definitely INTERESTING) of my life season NOW!!
How blessed I am!!!! There are days that I think, okay, that's it...I give up...God, what were YOU THINKING!? But now that my youngest so far is 4 1/2 and I'm no longer having to keep wipes, diapers, or change of clothes for each kid in the car...and all of them in booster seats (THANK YOU GOD), I'm beginning to think, wow, they are suddenly not as dependent on me and it hasn't been as bad as I sometimes tend to feel that it is. But now looking back through baby pictures and baby books...I'm very aware that I'll be stopping to enjoy my children abit more...even just before a time out when I need to love them the most.
The things I just might miss the most...
... how Duncan says Mother ~ 'Mudur', Girls ~ 'Gills', Thirsty ~ 'Fursty'
... the way my children will play together and laugh while they jump around the trampoline
... the way that my children have hurt feelings if one of them is 'mad' at them (which usually means one is scowling at the other)
... how Duncan says thingy ~ 'singee'
... the way my children still ask me to sing 'Jesus Loves Me' to them every night before tucking them into sleep
... how Isannah LOVES to play dress up and wear the princess shoes everywhere and loves to accessorize everything
... how my son seeks me out in the morning to tell me 'Good Morning Mama'
... the way that my eldest child is watching me while I do chores and then goes and does them on her own simply because she wants to do it herself
... how my children's level of extreme delight comes from the mere mention of going to Sonic and then to the park with Daddy
... that my husband coming home is a burst of loud screams of joy and excitement (I promise...I only listen, I don't join in...LOL)
... when Yellow will stop being 'Lellow' and Actually will stop being 'Ashulie' and Diarrhea will stop being 'Diary' (hey, its hilarious every time it happens)~ Duncan
... when it won't be a 'fun night' to just sit together and watch America's Funniest Home Videos
... when the streamers will come off the girls bikes
... when the girls won't be sharing clothes
... when I won't be with my children every single day
... when Mommy won't be able to 'kiss it' and make the pain go away
I didn't realize until today that my children growing up would actually be abit painful. While going through baby books and pages of infant milestones I asked my dear friend, "Does it get any easier?"
"Absolutely." she said..."Don't blink or they'll be 18!!! I suppose we all mourn their youth in some ways..." Oh great...however she did warn me..."Wait until your girls are 12 and 13!! You'll be praying for growth!" Yeah...I suppose when I get there I'll be reminding myself that its just a season
...and seasons ALWAYS change!