Big Little Changes

Something is happening around here. Something beautiful, subtly amazing, natural and so, so sad. It happens to the best of us parents. It's completely the order of things and we would be dreadfully worried and disappointed if it didn't happen. But even still, the realization of it grips at my heart, brings a tear to my eyes, and makes me so, so sad.

My babies aren't babies anymore. The hashtags accompany the posts of most of my mommy friends almost daily, #wherehasthetimegone, #timestandstill, and one of my favorites, #babiesdontkeep. FB memories put it in our face daily, and this truth is a reality for us all. They are growing at an alarming rate and won't stop, no matter my pleads for them to hover at these amazing stages just a little longer.

There was a time I thought Elijah would never leave the arms of his milk producing momma. But he did, in fact, quit nursing after 15 months of near constant attachment (insert tear streaked cheeks). I knew with grave certainty we would go broke having three, or more, kids in diapers or pull-ups for forever but now we are down to our final diaper clad kid, and can finally see, the day will come when we won't buy any more! I never thought I'd carry a purse again, I double dutied the diaper bag for so long, but I carry a purse about half the time's been a slow, sometimes scary transition back to the world of 'I don't have rash cream, extra clothes, snacks, or any other diaper bag emergency contingency stashed here on my arm' kind of mom. Butt's wiped in this house by me, at one point in time were increased by four...I wondered what I would do with all the spare time I'd gain by only having one, once again. Now, butt's wiped by me are down by two....spare time is spent asking if they did a good job wiping, did they flush and did they wash their hands, so no real gain there, other than independence is a small step closer for them. Nap time, sacred nap time, I thought I'd have that two hours a day, every day. I still get some quiet during nap while the two littles rest, but the big boys now use the time to read, do homework, puzzles, occasionally nap, or head outside. It's not the total silence I had grown accustomed to, but we're working it out and they are learning the value of a little quiet and alone time. We have cut teeth in our house nonstop for the last seven years. Seven years without a break! Alas, we are still cutting 2 and 4 year old molars but are also now on the daily quest of searching for loose teeth.We should have bought stock in children's tylenol and orajel!

These are just a few of the basic, fairly surface bits of my day that are shifting.

This list is endless, as most of you well know, but these crazy things are afoot up in our hacienda, and they prepare the stage for my heart as, daily, I see how they are growing and changing and moving baby steps away from needing mommy around every turn and instead, are little boys and baby girls becoming young men and little ladies. With their growing confidence, and knowledge of the world around them, they are learning to move beyond what keeps them comfortable and reaching for that next step. It does my heart well when Elijah still calls for me to 'watch what he can do', or Timothy still needs a hug from his me when he gets hurt, or when a tired Mason still wants to sit and snuggle and a sad Sophia just needs her mommy.  They aren't grown yet, but I've seen this change in all of them over the last few months, and it has me reminiscing about the days I chased three boys in diapers up the stairs for nap, nursed one, rocked all three and shushed them to sleep so as to not wake their baby sister.

You know, I don't rock anyone to sleep any more? I might have internally scoffed just a little when a teacher I worked with when Timothy first came to us said, "Rock him every chance you get, for as long as you can." She said the day will come when you will want to and he will be too big. I've rocked for nearly seven years and now that it has all but stopped in the last few months, I see she was right. My, what I wouldn't give to hear their heavy breath by my ear as they fall asleep on my shoulder, but their long gangly bodies no longer allow it, even if they did. SoSo could but is on such a big girl kick right now, she just wants to get in bed like brothers do, get her snuggle time and go to sleep. It's the unfair nature of the beast, that in the midst, we often feel it will never end, until it does, then we wonder where the time went.

Make no mistake, I am enjoying these years home with my littles, tending their every need and witnessing every milestone, and I know the job is nowhere near done. They are still very much babies in so many ways. It's just a stop and smell the roses, kind of realization when you look around and reflect on the changes. They are little, but oh so big in their world, and in mine as I cheer them on, guide them, correct them, and still hold them tight as I can, when they let me.