Thursday, April 4, 2013

On Toddlers and Teenagers

My bookends

 Lately I've been looking at my youngest who's 2.5yr old. Anticipating all the things he is just about to do and the "freedoms" for me that are coming. And then I look at my nearly 12 year old and wonder how he got so big so soon. Wasn't it just yesterday he was the 2 yr old ?? All those old people that smile when you are waddling in the mall with a bunch of kids saying "time flies, before you know it...." and you smile back to be polite. Agree but don't really get it because you are so tired , overworked and the days never, ever seem to end. And it really isn't that you don't believe them, you just don't feel that desperation to hold onto and cherish every moment. At least that has been my experience.

I've enjoyed them but I've always kept my eyes on the next step.Of course you do need to do that but I am finally getting that desperate urge to cling to the last of the toddler days. The days of innocent sentences that come out as hilarious. The spontanious throwing of their bodies into your legs. The swinging around your skirt while you try to do dishes so that something in the house is clean. The days where they really want to spend time with you and they watch your mouth move as you teach them something new. Crawling into your bed to be near you when all you want to do is recharge because they will be there needy again when you wake up. The simple fulfillment they receive from a cheap Mr.Freeze.

Need more things you are going to miss? Seeing "kid" things in the bathtub. Now they want to smell like Dad. Soft toys replaced with hard books and video games. Rain boots, they go away. I hear a baby cry when I go out and I snap my head back from what I'm doing because I'm so used to it being my child. No more baby cries. Death hollers, yes.

Thought empty toothpaste tubes and toilet paper rolls were a problem ? That was cute. Now there's no lawn and every mechanical thing they find is fair game for dissection. Now to pause for the good part. I am so blessed. I have five boys. I see the pattern of changes. I am learning the drill. When it's over, it's gone. I have been warned. And I have been given enough children to know now to enjoy these joys that are flowing past. I haven't missed them all! If I only had one or two kids I wouldn't have known this until it was gone. But for me I still have time.

It's sad that most parents stop having kids right before they get good at it. Right before they "get it". Who tells you that your family is big enough ? People with 1-2 kids who never had this awakening. This is my theory, anyways. I don't have Baby-itis anymore but I am not done either. I'm milking this now for all it's worth. I get to enjoy toddlers and teenagers at the same time. And I hope that in a few short years it will come full circle and I will get to enjoy my teenagers and my adult children's babies. Wow. And I won't miss it. I will be the old lady telling my sons and daughter in laws "Time flies, before you know it...." And they will smile. And they will be polite. And they won't get it.

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