For the last month I have been in a "relish every single minute" funk. A "the kids are getting big so fast" stage. When I see a picture of Sydney from last Christmas like this....
I get sad.
Being in this funk does not mean I am actually more present or more successful at realizing the moments around me. Sometimes it actual hinders my ability. I get so wrapped up in worrying about this stage passing or being over that I am not enjoying it.
But dang. Look at her up there. Sitting in front of the tree...barely mobile. Content.
And now...as the holiday season starts to settle in around us I am blown away by how far she has come in the last year. I think the first two years of parenting a child really are the ones that make your stomach lurch when you realize that you survived the sleepless nights, figured out the eating, maybe the sleeping, and they are beginning to communicate with words. When they are fully mobile and starting to question your ideas on how and when things will be done. You realize that they are little a little person who has wants, needs, desires, demands, emotions, etc. You realize they will grow up.
It would be around this time that we pondered the idea of a second and then followed through with Henry.
And then we pondered the idea of a third and followed up with Miss Sydney.
I feel our family is complete...but, man to be done growing little miracles is a big thing to move through as a woman. From here...Yes, I gain control of my body again...and maybe that is why working out has become something that brings me joy. But it also means that from here on out growing the miracle that turns into an amazing little personality is over. And that is okay. But as women, even if we know we are done and we are okay with that, it still has it's moments when it doesn't sit right on your heart.
Charley day two
I think with Charley we were so excited for the next thing to happen that the time just passed and amazed us , but passed and didn't give us this sinking feeling that life was moving too fast. And with Henry we paused more to realize how quickly he moved from one stage to the next...especially when he weighed in at a grand 20 pounds at 4 months. And at that point I was coming to terms that our family might be complete. With Sydney I just look at her pictures and the boys baby pictures and funk settles on my heart.
The other day Ed and I passed a couple who had their second and she was at that age of supportive enough to be held up right by daddy's shoulder but still too tiny to sit or do anything independent. Ed caught my eye and I know he at least sympathized...even if he can't completely relate to all the emotions that I go through, as the woman.
Sydney, Easter 2011
This morning I sat with a friend who has older children who are involved in all these travelling sports that take up so much of their families time and energy. And I listened and felt my stress level rising. I know I am a person who realizes the stage we are in and usually can find the good in it. And right now, even if Sydney is waking at 4:50am on a regular basis...we don't have enough nightly commitments that make family dinner a "remember when we did that" kind of thing. Charley has an occasional activity or commitment but for the most part our evenings can be family focused.
I read so many blogs where the family home schools or lives in a way that they never mention many after school, sport, or other extracurricular commitments. And there is sooooo much of me that wishes I could let go of the "do our kids need to do what the neighbor's kids are doing to keep up in the world" stress.
When did sport tournaments take over Sundays. Even though we don't make church a Sunday tradition at this time, doesn't mean we don't respect that choice for other families. It still means we focus our Sunday on family. And it stresses me out thinking that in the not to far ahead future we will wrestle with these demanding choices.
We have exposed Charley to various sports in easy time commitment ways. I believe in letting them dip their toes in things, get the experience of being part of a team, learning something new, and boy howdy, I LOVE watching them from the sidelines.
But again, as time flies by we will soon be managing three kids and their social lives.
My point here today...
I want to acknowledge my awareness that life is so good right now. Our time commitments for our children are more about the waking hour, nap time, keeping them fed, getting them to run around outside, reading, homework, and a consistent bedtime. Their social lives are pretty low stress. We know most of their friends, the parent's of these friends, and spending time with family still consumes a majority of our weekends. Family dinner happens most nights. And all of these things are such small worries when I think of the future...
bigger time commitments, more time driving and dropping off, bigger grocery bills, kids driving, friend invites and pressures, hormonal drama, letting your children learn and make mistakes, and keeping a parent/child connection with a foundation of respect, trust, and openness.
So while I sit here in my funk. Thinking of how much my children have grown and how fast these years have passed. I realize that I too have grown and changed. And that as children their job is to grow up, become independent, and fly the coop. And as the parent it is my job to prepare them, celebrate them, and then let them go...while still supporting and letting them know that we are always here.
Spending time with my children and their two grandmas always reminds me that if I do it right, like these two amazing ladies did, I will continue to enjoy each stage and that just because they start to prefer their friends over my company, become over committed with extracurriculars, bogged down by homework, move away for college, marry some crazy girl, etc....I am their mama and I get to go along on their journey, and it's all awesome.
Hoping by typing out this ramble of a post I can move on from this funk ...until it settles in again...