Thursday, November 18
Yesterday I was picturing my kids 6 years from now, when they'll be 12, 10, and 6. I'm sure it will be fun and I'm sure I'll appreciate not having to buckle everyone into a car seat all the time, and I'm sure I'll love that Alexis can babysit, but I don't want to be at that stage yet. Amazingly enough, I am happy where I'm at.
I love that Alexis is old enough to dabble in big kid things, like school, but young enough that she still wants me to lay with her at night and talk about her day. I love watching her spend her afternoon jump roping, and improving each day.
I love that Tyler is just learning about letters. I love the disjointed way he writes his name, and the proud smile he has whenever he shows it to me. I love that he's old enough to do most things himself, but still wants me around to watch him do them.
And I love that Ryan is still a squishy little baby. I love that he's discovering his voice and screams happily while playing with his toys. I love that when you hold him he looks around the room with his mouth wide open and his eyes darting here and there, trying to take it all in, and you can just see his brain working behind those eyes. And of course, I love his chubby chubby legs that I squeeze all day long. Everyday I look at him, and then I look at the older two, and I'm reminded how quickly they grow up. How quickly I'll forget just what they were like as a baby--the way they felt in my arms, they way they smelled, even the way they drooled all over me. And when I think of that I almost want to cry (no, I'm not sleeping much, why do you ask?) at the thought of him growing up. If I could pause time, I would do it right now.
The thing about this that I find most remarkable is that I still feel this way after a few of the worst weeks of sleep I've ever gotten. I'm up several (read: 5 or more) times a night with Ryan lately, and Tyler was sick last week and getting up a few times a night as well. But despite all that I still would not trade this for anything. Motherhood is not easy. You give and give and give of yourself until you've got nothing left to give. And even then your kids will keep taking. But what we sometimes forget is that they give back a hundred fold. If you aren't watching for it, you might miss it, but it's there. It's in their hugs and kisses. It's in their curious questions. It's hidden in their pants pockets, among rocks and candy wrappers. It's even in their smudgy finger prints on your wall. And it's definitely in the middle of the night wakings, when the first name they think to call out is "mom". I feel sorry for people who choose to not experience this because they don't want to give up their life luxuries. I pray for people who want this experience but have yet been given that blessing. And I hope that people who are experiencing this but don't recognize it as the blessing it is, will figure it out before they've missed their chance.
Now, I have a little man sitting on my lap that is giving back to me in the cute way he's chewing his Nerds and wondering if he liked milk and rice cereal when he was a baby. He can't understand why he did, but because he's only four he believes anything I tell him. So since I can't pause time I'll do my best to commit his perfect face to memory and not let these moments just pass me by.