Sunday, July 24, 2011

Times they are a changing

I have been doing quite a bit of freaking out thinking about how things are changing around here.  Of course, this involves thinking about how each of my little babies is growing up.

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This photo, taken in April, shows my four little ones swinging together.  But they are rapidly changing and growing.  That littlest guy on the left is almost ready to leave the baby swing. 

With his delightful growth, I see the baby years ending in this household.  Those baby years that seemed so UNENDING for so long are slowly disappearing. 

And it is here that I find my currently reality.  I feel like I am in a strange place, leaving behind a stage in my parenting.  One that has been so familiar for so long.

And everything they said was true.  It has flown by. 

In fact, I think I only blinked.

But the reality of growing children hits me at random moments.

Just the other day I decided at the very last minute to go to the pool with my 4 kids and my niece and nephew.  I was able to gather everything we needed and pile into the car within 10 minutes. 

Of course, I had helping hands.  But most of all, it occurred to me that I had energy.  And that was abnormal.  Every summer of the last 9 years has contained a baby (under 1) or a pregnancy. 

Suddenly, I have neither. 

This is a different place.   It’s a good place.  But it feels strange to be leaving the world of baby.

I watch three “big” kids carry their own things into the pool.  They walk without assistance.   They are capable of crossing the street safely together.

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I hold the hand of a little man who needs some supervision, but happily does “his thing”. 

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And I am the mommy, happily in the midst of it all, feeling a bit strange because I am not pregnant with another child.

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So I am full of energy.  Most days.

Our family is growing, but not in size anymore.  We are only growing in age.

And yes, random thoughts occur to me.  I look at my blog and realize that I will not be using my blog’s “pregnancy” label ever again.  That is done. 

Don’t get me wrong, I realize that another child could technically join our family.  We would be thrilled, of course, even though it is not our plan.  But  the fact remains that it is not our plan right now, so that is how we proceed.

And I know that there are plenty of parenting years ahead.  Yet those baby years seem to be disappearing. 

So right now, I am absorbing the moment that is now.  Because “this too shall pass” and I will leave the world of toddlers and little kids.

So I want to be in these years as fully as possible, absorbing every detail and being present in each moment.  I have this haunting, nagging feeling that time is about to fly even faster now.

And while I would never stop time, I do enjoy moments when I feel like I get to press pause. 

9 comments:

I Am Not Superwoman said...

What a great post. It is so true time goes by so fast and doesnt stand still for anyone or anything. Cherish the moments. Have a blessed week!

Johanna said...

oh yes!! How I can relate!! The first 5 years were radically different then the second five years. The first five years we had 4 babies under 5....then the next five years I saw them all grow up together.:) Now I have a 6-11 year olds! It seems like yesterday that they were all babies....now, now they are TOO BIG!! But, I can't wait to have another one toddling around here soon....OH HOW I MISS THOSE BABY YEARS!!! Glad to get it back with our Tahlia comin' soon!! Mary, Your family is beautiful....oh, How I WISH we lived closer to eachother...we'd have SO much fun together!!:))

Kayris said...

It took me a long time to come to the realization that we didn't want anymore children. Having made that decision, I sometimes feel a little sad, but it's also very freeing. For example, at my SIL's baby shower, there were 6 pregnant women there. I felt a little sad that I'll never feel a baby kicking again, but I'll also never have to get up 6 times a night to breastfeed, I'll hopefully never get vomited on again, and I carry a real purse with no diapers in it. I liked the baby years, but with my youngest at 4 1/2 and my oldest approaching 7, a baby would feel very much like going backwards.

We went to the beach a couple of weeks ago, and it was so much simpler packing too, without having to bring dipes and wipes and formula and feeding chairs and the pack n play.

My husband and I were the first our families to get married and have kids, the first in our group of friends to get married and have kids. Some of our family members and friends are just doing that now and it's a little weird to think that I'm in a different place. But it's also a nice place.

Georgia said...

what an awesome post!!! i hope you can some how save this post and blog for your kids to read when they are older. we are all in the "baby" stage in my family. Me and my 4 sil's all had babies 2 months apart. so there will be lots of vomit and diapering in the years to come :0)

Melissa T. said...

You mean there's energy in my future?!? At least until November when the baby comes I suppose...

Monica said...

I can so relate, Mary. My "baby" turns five in a few days and I am seeing the end of the preschool years now. Very surreal.

AnnG said...

Love the picture of you with the kids! Each stage we go through brings different challenges, and this one will be a good one! No more baby years will be hard when a friend has a baby but it will be good to watch your kids grow in independence and allow you to learn just as they do!

Kelly @ In Everything said...

great post!! And I'm getting to the place where I can relate... my "baby" is only 15months but doesn't act like a baby at all!! So I feel like the baby days are leaving.

I stay up too late to enjoy the energy from a restful night of sleep... although I am blessed to be getting it;)

I am a little different than you in that I'm not sure if I (or we) want or will have another. Somedays I think it would be awesome, other days I"m just soo content with this sweet family of 6! Sometimes I just wish for another surprise pregnancy so we don't have to decide... LOL!!!

Sorry to ramble! Great post though! I"m there about trying to enjoy each moment... love the pic of them walking to the pool with their own towels;)

Dose of Wonder said...

Yes, I was in the baby free stage and now we are preparing to re-enter it again! In a weird way I feel very similar to your feelings. I want to enjoy the now, the last few days with just two kids, the last spontaneous trips to the library or BJ's without worrying about naps. But I am REALLY starting to look forward to my boys delighting in another member of our family. As the baby becomes more active they are amazed with my belly, just wait until they see what comes next! It will be a wild ride but we'll only get this newborn stage with two big brothers watching on for a short period. So bring back my comfy yoga pants and sweatshirt days around the house! Skinny jeans are overrated anyhow!

 

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