The Terrible Twos can take a toll on us mamas, making us
long for the time when our kids are a little bit older and a little more
self-sufficient. The days slip by, then the months, and one day you blink
and your 4-year-old is saying he can put his socks and shoes on by himself
and he doesn't need you. That little pang you feel is the knowledge that
your baby is growing up and there will be fewer and fewer things he needs you
to do for him.
There are so many things I will miss when my kids are older; there are so many things I already miss now that they're out of diapers, walking, talking and starting school. Trying to hold onto these moments is like trying to catch water in my hand, but that doesn't stop me from trying.
In a year or two I know I'll have to say, "Hold my hand when we cross the street," and my boys will roll their eyes and sigh.
not always convenient to hold my kids' hands. Sometimes I'm pushing a grocery
cart or carrying a suitcase or simply want to have one hand free. But my heart
melts every time one of them comes up behind me and tucks his hand into mine. In
a year or two I know I'll have to say, "Hold my hand when we cross the street,"
and my boys will roll their eyes and sigh. So I'm enjoying these quiet moments
when they slip their hands into mine because they want to hold my hand.
are getting too big for lap cuddling, but that doesn't stop my youngest from
trying. He is still small enough to sit in my lap with his legs tucked up and his
knobby knees under his chin. He curves an arm around me and I remember, oh how I remember, what it was
like to be pregnant with this little guy who is getting bigger every day. It's
one of those heart achingly bittersweet moments and I'm going to savor for as
long as it lasts.
3. The excitement over
The jaded teen (and tween?) years are still ahead of us and
everything is still new and thrilling. My oldest son literally cannot contain
himself over things he finds exciting; his arms become a windmill and he bounces
in place, talking a mile a minute. "Mama, did you see the squirrel? Mama, there's
a squirrel outside!" Never mind that he's seen that squirrel, or one like it,
nearly every day of his young life. It's still exciting—and his excitement
makes me so happy. I hope they never lose their excitement over the little
moments in life.
4. All of the questions
My 6-year-old is more quiet and introverted than my 4-year-old. Plus, my older son's questions tend to be straightforward and he's content with a straightforward
answer. So I wasn't prepared for the onslaught of curiosity as soon as my
younger son could talk. He has a question about everything and a dozen follow-up
questions. It's never-ending, from when he first wakes up in the morning until
his eyes close at bedtime. I find myself looking forward to the day when he
doesn't have so many questions. But I admit, I'll miss feeling like I'm his whole world—or at least the source of most of his
information because he thinks I know everything. (I'll even miss having to look
things up because I want to give him an accurate answer about how an airplane
stays in the air instead of just guessing.)
5. That sweet, sleeping
Is there anything sweeter than the face of a sleeping child? I'm
hoping they won't outgrow this, but it's hard to believe they'll be this precious
when they're in middle school. Those last few moments before they fall asleep,
where they're soft and warm and so incredible sweet. I love those moments as I
watch them sleep, so peaceful and safe with their stuffed animals, tucking
deeper under their favorite blankets. They are my little ones, and no matter how
big they get, I will remember these moments when they slept and filled my heart until it was bursting.
Oh, I know we'll celebrate their many accomplishments over the
years, but there is something special about these early milestones. When my
youngest walked at 10 months, his not-quite-3-year-old brother was so excited
for him. "Baby walking! Baby walking!" he exclaimed, clapping as his baby
brother toddled over to him. When my oldest lost his first tooth, his little brother
kept asking to see the tooth and couldn't stop talking about the riches his
brother would receive from the Tooth Fairy. It's not just watching them experience
the milestones, it's being able to share them as a family. These are the
memories we'll all have when they grow up and make their own lives. I'm not
even close to ready to think about that, so for now I'll savor the first days
of school and the first glasses of juice poured without assistance.