When my children were 1 and 2.5, I wondered what life would be like when both kids didn't nap, when both kids were in school, when both kids were kids... not babies. I felt like I was drowning : nursing, rushing home for nap time, lack of sleep, and the endless diaper changes. Now that I am in this "kid" phase of life, I am finding it to be sweet and magical and fun. Now that the kids are 6.5 and 8, they are turning into people. These little people have captured my heart as I watch them grow and change each day, right before my eyes. New academic skills, loose teeth, tying shoes, sports, ballet, book reports, and chores surround me. They are becoming more and more independent and I am learning to let go.
This phase of sweetness is filled with ALL the things motherhood should be. It is phase that I want to cherish and savor. While not all moments are unicorns and roses, I can see and feel the time slipping away. When you are in the messiness of babies and toddlers, it can be hard to think that one day you will have time for yourself. It is hard to think past the bottles and diapers and burp cloths and potty training. But that time is coming. The time when your baby starts kindergarten, puts on her uniform herself, and walks into that classroom without looking back. The time when your toddler can shower by himself, catch a football, and read a chapter book. The time when you realize your baby and toddler are now kids that have opinions, thoughts, and dreams.
This phase of sweetness reminds me that my job as a mom isn't done; it's just different. My kids still need me; they just need me in different ways. They still need hugs and kisses and words of encouragement. They still need breakfast and nightly prayers and help with homework. My role is changing, and I am embracing this role. I am not the only one that my kids rely on anymore. While that is freeing, it's also scary and intimidating. As I wonder and think about the phases to come: preteen craziness, middle school drama (help me now), high school sports, college choices, and all the milestones beyond that; my heart and head fill with all the thoughts.