Uploading and editing pictures from my “best day EVER” (that 's a direct quote from the kids, but they say that at least a few times a week so take it with a grain of salt) with the kiddo’s today has made a few things abundantly clear to me. One, my children are ridiculously cute. Gobble ‘em up, squeeze ‘em tight, photograph ‘em often cute. I love how much of their personality shines through in pictures almost as much as I love how they all look so much alike and yet different at the same time.
Two, they are growing at a ridiculous rate. I look at each one of them and I remember the babies that they were and I wonder how I blinked my eyes and now I’m not cuddling sweet, tiny helpless babies anymore. Now I’m watching these children so full of potential, personality and their own idea's run around by themselves with sure feet that no longer need me there to guide them.
It seems like only minutes ago that our entire life was dictated by what time they needed to eat and nap,making sure they had pooped recently, and packing half of our house into the diaper bag just to go pick up a gallon of milk. It was during those sleep deprived days that Jerry and I began a game that we play to this day. It’s our very own version of chicken but instead of waiting to see who will swerve first it’s a battle to see who can pretend to sleep for the longest amount of time before the other gives into the battle cries being issued from the crib. It's a hardcore battle of wills and takes alot of practice to perfect. Bonus points are issued if you can be so convincing that the loser thinks that you truly slept through the screaming banshees down the hall, for all you other parent's out there looking to play along at home on your own. You know you wanna, with a sweet prize like 5 more minutes of sleep on the line.
I still remember that unique baby smell that lingered in the air for so long here, and how the tiny creases in their necks had the perpetual smell of slightly sour milk and baby lotion. Highly addictive stuff, that baby neck smell. Part of the reason we have four kids is because of that smell. All you non-breeders can gag all you want, one day if you’re lucky enough you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. When you find yourselves sniffing your child’s neck like a crack head getting their first fix of the day you’ll be all oh, that’s what she meant. It’ll be a lightbulb moment, or an “aha moment” for all you Oprah fans out there.
I remember laying in bed at night imagining what it would be like the first time they came running into our room to climb into bed with us, what the pitter patter of those tiny feet would sound like. Trying to envision what they would look like when the chubbiness of babyhood had started to wane, what they would sound like when baby gurgles became baby chatter, and what kind of children would they grow to be. Even my best dreams could have never hinted at just how amazingly awesome each of them would become.
Right now its like they’ve got the whole wide world in the palm of their hands and they know it. They know they can do anything, be anything, go anywhere and do everything. They have dreams and aspirations and the world is their oyster. I see them absorbing life and learning and growing and I’m humbled. They are everything that is good and perfect in this world and in a way I want to become the best kind of parent and the worst all at the same time.
I want to encourage them to venture out and make their own path and yet keep them chained to my side. I want them to learn and yet keep them ignorant so that I’m still the smartest person in the world to them. They should play with others, yet never forget about me. I want them to stay all night in their beds but still spend plenty of time cuddling with me. I want them to sing their own songs but still wait for me to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” at bedtime. They should pray on their own but still recite the Lord’s Prayer with us. Basically, I’m a hypocritical mess.
I was never one of those women who felt my biological clock ticking or pressure to have children. But damn if I don’t hear that clock ticking away each second of their childhood loud and clear. Each little tick is a transition that I’m not sure I’m ready for. Each day is an adventure with them and I wake up each morning loving them more than I did the night before as impossible as that seems. I know that I should look forward to how much more is still to come and I do. Believe me I do. And I cant wait to get there, I just wish it would come a little slower. A lot slower. I want to stretch each minute out to its limit and breathe my time with them in. Because no matter how long it is it’ll never be enough.