I feel like I am on the brink of something. I know Mike leaving is a huge thing right now, but that isn't what this is about. Don't get me wrong, I am struggling with that too, but this is different.
This has to do with babies. And no, I'm not pregnant. I am very content with three children. And my kids are at a great age, independence wise. Lauren gave herself a bath last night without prompting. All of my children get themselves dressed every morning and make their own breakfast. It's amazing the little people they are. A few of my friends have told me how good I have it since my kids enjoy doing these things for themselves. And I agree with them. Mostly. I really miss them needing me to do things for them. And I think it's made me too lax in my parenting in other areas. I want my children to know that they are responsible for their actions, behaviors and fulfilling their role in the family. It takes all of us being there for ourselves and each other to make it. I certainly can't imagine doing everything for all of them all the time. There was a time a few years ago when I did. It had to be that way because of their ages. I am slowly turning things over to them.
So I guess what is bothering me is that most of my friends have kids younger than my own. That is great in it's own right, since I get to cuddle and snuggle their babies and give them back and sleep all night. But it makes me long for the days when my kids were that little. You know, the days we wish away when we say "if only he would feed himself", "if only she just go potty and not tell me everytime she needs to go", or "if only my kids would sleep in". Over Christmas break, my kids learned to sleep until about 9:30. It was heavenly. What was better was that when they did get up, they didn't feel the need to come wake us up. They made some cereal or waffles for breakfast, watched tv, drew pictures, and just played with each other. We were free to sleep in and just be lazy. And as much as I loved that freedom, I missed the snuggles in the morning (though Lauren will still occationally join me for a morning snuggle).
I guess we are at a new stage of this parenting/growing thing. Maybe I am just reflecting on their babyhood that seems to be so fleeting. My baby will be FIVE in a couple of months. And while it pains me to see them move on from something so familiar to me, I am encouraged by the prospect of what is to come. It's all a journey, and I feel like we are embarking on a new leg of the trip. I guess I need to pack those memories away for a while, and focus on the road ahead. I'm sure it will have some bumps, but in a few years, when we look back and long for the days when life seemed so different.