A funny thing happened this past weekend.
We went to a Breakfast With Santa, which was organized by some of the moms at our school. (THAT'S not the funny part. I'll get to it in a minute.) I love that they took time out of their busy lives to pull this together for our families. The kids had a wonderful time...and Rachel didn't fall on the floor crying when she looked at Santa (which is what happened the weekend before at a different Breakfast.)
So I was standing there, chatting with someone, when I looked over to see my friend holding someone's itty, bitty, adorable, little girl. She might have been 4 or 5 months old. She was wearing a tiny red dress, white tights, and teeny-weeny black Mary Janes. Her head was covered by the thinnest layer of wispy hair and she was chewing vigorously on two of her fingers (teething?).
"Awww! She is so cuuuute! Omigawd!" I continued to babble incoherently. "Who is the cutest widdle baby in the whole wide world? Is that you?! Yes it is! YOU are the cutest widdle baby in the whole wide world!" The baby-daddy was standing nearby, probably wishing he had the number of the local mental health facility on his cell phone speed dial.
But here's where the funny part came in. I did my babbling and staring, went about my business, and NOT EVEN ONE TIME did I think to myself, "Aw! It would be so nice to have another one."
This is a huuuuge breakthrough.
I'm not kidding, people. Not even a HINT of baby-fever. On the contrary, I looked around at my kids....they were running around, having fun, playing with the other kids, chatting with the parents, getting their own food when they were hungry, and just being independent. And I was thankful.
For as much as I loved my babies and I do miss their infant days, I'm starting to accept the idea that their growing up is a good thing.
There's less "gear" in my house...no more swing, pack-n-play, infant car seat, exersaucer, booster seat, gates, changing table, bottles, binkys, etc. Rachel will be out of diapers soon. We haven't used the stroller in several months. My schedule no longer revolves around naptime. They all sleep through the night. They can all drink from a regular cup. They can all speak in full sentences. Rachel can follow directions like, "Please get your coat out of the closet. We're leaving soon." She can run to the van and climb into her seat and even partially buckle her seatbelt. The boys walk themselves to school every morning. Alexa can unload the dishwasher. The physical demands of parenting are dwindling as they become capable of doing things for themselves....and for their siblings.
So while I sometimes grieve for the days that passed far too quickly, my eyes are beginning to see that this phase of our lives has it's perks. Instead of looking back, I can see certain milestones on the horizon.....and I'm eager to see what's in store for our family.
* * Rachel and Momma...April 2007 * *
"Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'."
(Bob Dylan, copyright 1963)