My daughter turned 6 last Saturday; my youngest child went from toddler years to child years in a blink of an eye. On Monday morning around 3am I heard little feet walk into my bedroom then a tap on the cheek followed by “Mommy I had a nightmare, can I snuggle?” I instantly grabbed her up, scooted over, and she snuggled in. The next day I thought back on those sweet snuggles and wondered would those be my last late night cuddles? I know that one day she will no longer come to my room when she has a nightmare or when thunder wakes her up. As I thought about it, I realized my 8 year old has not come to our room in the middle of the night in a few years. Piper, our oldest daughter has become so self sufficient and rarely wants to snuggle anymore. She is too busy with reading or playing that sitting down to snuggle is no longer in her timeline for the day.
This is the date and time of your last bottle feeding or this is the last time they will need you to wash their hair or Monday the 7th of March 2021 is the very last time you will all color on the floor and make a puzzle together.
I know that is unrealistic, but if it was real, I could prepare myself. I could hold onto those moments for as long as possible and take as many mental pictures as I could hold.
As a family, we have decided not to have anymore babies, we are happy and our family feels complete. However, I am not going to lie to you and say that realizing my baby years are over doesn’t hurt. All the little baby moments are over for me, no more no teeth smiles or listening to baby talk for hours on end. My children are growing up and I am grateful to watch them learn and grow but I still miss the little baby moments.
So today I make a promise to myself to STOP thinking about all the things I have to do in the moment and just enjoy the simple sometimes messy adventures:
1.) Let them sleep in your bed when they want to, those nights are coming to an end very quickly.
2.) Be exited every time they ask you to reach for something; they will not be short forever.
3.) Try to enjoy the doing hair fights (I KNOW, I KNOW), but one day sooner then later, they won’t dare let you do their hair.
4.) When they ask you to teach them something, do a little jig and take a few mental pictures.
5.) Let them help you cook. I know the mess is 7 times bigger. but the sweet memories you are getting are priceless.
6.) Play in the rain as often as possible. It may seem like a messy silly thing to do, but I promise everyone will have fun.
7.) Do all the kid vacations! My husband hates Disney BUT … how often do you get to see the expression on your girls faces when they see a real life princess?
SIDE NOTE: I started writing this post before the pandemic and as I am sitting here on May 15th at what seems like almost the end of it, I just realized that I have spent 61 consecutive days, 24 hours a day with my girls. That has NEVER happened before in the 8 years since I have had children. Between work and school we have never had so much time together.
I never want to hear the word pandemic ever again, and I now remember why I never used that teaching degree … but with all the DOWNS in this situation, spending this time with my girls has definitely been an UP. I learned things about them I didn’t know, and I even learned some things about myself as a parent.
Happy Summer Vacation everyone! Praying that you all stay healthy and safe.
A mom of two very grown up little girls who luckily still snuggle their mama