We are officially 100% there. We have kids. Not babies. The babies have grown up. I really thought this would be sad for me. In a way, it is. Nothing in this world can compare to a fuzzy-headed, sweet smelling newborn curled up right under your chin. There is truly nothing like it. It is absolute bliss. I really wish I had savored those moments just a little bit longer like people told me to.
But you know what? There is also nothing in this world like Family Game Night with the three people you love most in this world on the den floor beside the fire…and, get this…not playing Candy Land. Because when the kids are toddlers, doesn’t it seem like Candy Land is the only game out there? Well, that and Chutes and Ladders. And I loved our Candy Land marathons that inevitably ALWAYS ended in an emotional breakdown from the losing player, but it in no way compares to getting your fanny kicked by your almost but not quite yet 7 year old in a heated Checkers match. Or working together with your husband, son and daughter to see just how high you can make the Jenga tower before it tumbles to the ground. War is probably their favorite right now. They absolutely FLIP if they have the joker. It seriously makes their day. Pick Up Sticks, Jacks, Connect Four…they love ’em all. Oh, and another thing. You know that 5:00 meltdown hour? When you are tired, the kids are exhausted and everything seems to be falling apart right at suppertime? It’s gone. Now they are helping me in the kitchen. Or playing together on their own while I am cooking. Whatever it is that they are doing, I am loving it so much more than the tantrums that I once saw.
The only image I could find of one of them playing a game…must remedy that tomorrow!
Have I ever shown you my absolute very favorite EVER portraits of my babies? I once thought that I wanted to bottle them up at this stage right here. They were SO SOOO Sweet at this stage. Clara Beth wanted to be nowhere in the world except in my arms. Her little head was so bald and perfect for nuzzling. Her cheeks were the most kissable I had ever kissed. Mak was hilarious. He did things like call a school bus a Doo-Doo (we have no idea why). He couldn’t say his “H” sound and I really almost named Clara Beth “Holly” because of the way he said “Might be Olly” when we read his “Where’s Spot” book. But I knew he would eventually get those H sounds. He had the sweetest little blond curls in the entire world and was always ready to give his Momma a smooch. I ADORE those days. They are even sweeter now because I know how fast they were gone. And I really do miss them.
But this is not bad. Not bad at all. Because, for real, just look at them. My heart hurts with love for them. Don’t get me wrong, we still have tough times. Things are not always rosy and sweet. Their sin natures, and mine, come out on a daily basis. That sweet girl can have a very sassy mouth and the boy can be a complete know-it-all. Their Momma gets unbelievably frustrated and loses her cool all too often.
But I wouldn’t change this stage for anything. Now, I can’t imagine them being 12 and 10, just like then I couldn’t imagine them being 6 and 4. But I know it’s coming at a lightening fast speed. And I know I’ll love it. We sat behind a family in church on Sunday who was sitting with their three teenage kids. I tried to put myself in their position but I couldn’t. I could tell that they all really loved each other. You could see it in the inside jokes and the way they talked to one another. Having teenagers has always terrified me. I cannot even think about them driving or dating without hyperventilating. But watching that family on Sunday made me realize that with a lotta work and a WHOLE LOTTA praying that stage will be fun, too. I’m definitely not ready for it. But then, I wasn’t ready for this stage either. And look at these little love notes that we got from the almost but not quite yet seven year old last night. Made my day. My month. It made everything. He never could have written us a note at age 2. I’m so glad they are growing up. I’m just having to remind myself about 3 million times a day to slow down and enjoy it with them. =)
Well, this is Collin’s note…I have one, too, but I didn’t get a pic of it. Please note the Darth Vader paper. He got it at a birthday party and it’s his new fave.