Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Babies No Longer

Do you remember the first feeding, the first smile, the first word, the first step?

Do you remember all the firsts of your babies?

If it's not as clear as it once was and the names and the faces get mixed up as time goes on…..well, I certainly remember the awe and wonder.  Even this mama, a self-proclaimed NOT LOVER OF THE BABY YEARS, remembers the wonder and the excitement.  


I remember, too, thinking at some point that the firsts are over and babyhood is behind and the wonder is almost up.  My last and craziest is four, almost five and acting older then the others did in many ways.  We are done with naps and my boy just announced he was too old to cuddle and there is much more independent play and friends reign supreme in our house.  The favorite person ranges from Steve (yes, our 60-some year old neighbor who calls to tell of baby birds hatching or will talk endless and patiently to a four year old) to Destiny to Stephen to Annie or, well, really any Mullins relation that happens to wonder over.  Parents are no longer the end all be all of the world - the imaginary world or real, depending on the mood or the day.

And yet……………

I find there to be so much more wonder and awe in my world than before.  

Surprising, isn't it?

It, to be honest, took me unaware.  And maybe it's an eye-opening, heart-opening season for me - one that is teaching me that there is beauty in all ages and stages of life - even my children's lives.

It's happening more and more often that I stop and I stare and I sit and I pay attention or listen or look and I find that my babies are not babies but these real-life people with real-life thoughts and concerns and ideas and opinions.  And I wonder how did we get from talking about letters and numbers and shapes and what would you like for snack and yes, you are wearing those socks and no, you can't do that and yes, it is SO YOUR BEDTIME and please, please let mama have a moment to………

THIS.  Ahhhh, the magic of THIS time and THIS stage.  This time when we stop dead in the middle of the day, in the front yard where we are pulling weeds because a question is asked and lo and behold an answer is given and it leads to this strangely grown up conversation.  I want to take a step back and say wait, wait!!  Let me get the camera!  I want to record every moment of this, every word you are saying. Is this happening?  Are we TALKING?  It was the most incredible moment.  And I know our yard looks like crap and the weeds are everywhere but listen, people, when you are laying down roots and watching them take hold you don't have time to mess with the earthly weeds.  And so we stopped and we sat in the sun and we TALKED.  It was glorious.

THIS occurs when you watch this HUGE boy-child at the dinner table scarfing down food and asking for more and proclaiming your food the best ever and can he have more.   I can't tell you how many times I have stared at this boy and wonder WHEN DID HE GROW?  But grow he did and can I tell you?  He and I are allies in this house of sensitivity and seriousness.  I will always allow that the others are better.  They just are.  They are more aware.  They are better behaved.  They, most likely, will never offend anyone.  They know how to act and what the rules are and will never cause serious discomfort.  They are the better people.  My boy and I?  Well, we say the wrong things………AND IT IS SO FUNNY…….if only to us.  And my love keeps warning me that NOT EVERYONE WILL THINK IT'S FUNNY.  And so I try to temper the silly with the serious but it's so hard when we get to laughing and their seriousness just makes it all the more funny.  

THIS occurs when you are in the car and everyone is tired and there is much talk OVER and OVER about the same thing.  My patience is wearing thin and I am about to lose it with the one in the back - that boy-child whose temper sometimes can boil over and WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?  My goodness.  The issue?  The I can't possibly every forgive you for this?  He did not go to Safety City last year.  MY WORD.  SUE ME.  WE ACTUALLY TOOK OUR KIDS TO IDLEWILD PARK AND SPLASH ZONE AND STORYBOOK FOREST.  Apparently this is AWFUL because my boy did not get to ride a tricycle around a made up city in an unair-conditioned elementary school building for 2 hours last summer and IT HAS RUINED HIS WHOLE LIFE or so it seemed for those MANY, MANY minutes in the car.  So just as mama was about to turn around and throttle her beloved child…………..her other beloved child, that last, unbelievably magical, always messy, always unpredictable one who is, indeed, going to Safety City this year?  Well, she says in the most dead-panned of voices………."I'll take a picture for you."  And such is the beauty of the last.  Those birth order books have it right………oh my is she silly and always she makes us laugh……"I'll take a picture for you."  We laughed out loud.  The mood broken.  Classic.

So I am learning, as I am sure most mamas do, that time is precious.  ALL TIME.  That being a mama is a forever job and a forever joy.  And yes, it's not all good.  It's not all perfect.  As evidenced by the fact that I am happily sitting on my parent's porch writing this…….not tucking my precious ones into bed but tucking myself into a comfy chair and basking in the stillness.  But oh my……..these glimpses, these moments, these firsts………..I treasure them.  

I am reminded so often that there are many things that I love and am passionate about and am willing to sacrifice so much for but there is nothing that grounds me so much as my husband and my children.  They are my glimpses of what God must feel when He views us.  They are my peek into what Love is. They are my joy.

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