Wednesday, February 16, 2011

growing up

I can't quite put my finger on it, but something has changed in me.  It has been a slow change but one that i am so aware of every day.  I don't know if its just me getting older, the sunshine, or my kids entering new stages. But i have this amazingly overwhelming feeling of love inside of me.  I mean, not that i didn't before, but something has changed. It all happened when Ruby started kindergarten.  They say when you have kids you wear your heart outside of your body, but i feel like its even more than that! Every day my heart puts on a back pack and enters the scary unknown world of school.(without her mother!) I watch how easily she adapts to change and how she chooses to press on each day. It just amazes me. That girl is so precious. 
I really think that this whole new chapter in life, school, is exactly that, new. I have had a really hard time making the switch from babies to toddlers to kindergarten. I am finally accepting that we are out of the crazy sleepless, stressful, tiring, crabby stage of baby. But i miss it. I feel comfortable there. I have only known baby my entire marriage and now my youngest baby is already 2! I can actually take a shower with out feeling totally stressed and rushed and its like i don't know how to respond to that. How to embrace this new stage in life. The day my 5 year old got her back pack on and headed down the driveway and out of my care was a big day. It started a change in me.  It woke me up to the fact that they truly grow up so fast.  And if you blink, you're gonna miss it. Each day i have been changing and have been transforming my mind and my plans and my priority of what it means to parent.  Its not just hugging and getting through the day any more. I feel such intention in my thinking. I feel so aware of the speed that they grow up. How can i give them everything they need? How can i parent each child the way they need to be parented? How can i bring out the best in them and help they spread their wings?  These are really tough questions. Ones i think about every day. But not in a stressed or worried way (well, maybe a little worried). I am excited. I have these little lives that i am in charge of.  I am here to be their mother.
Its that easy and that difficult

I volunteer at Ruby's school just to be able to watch her and see how she is interacting and learning.  I watch her and when she sits quietly and doesn't "engage" as much as the other kids, i feel pain in my heart. I just hurt for her, or even the possibility of her hurting, makes me hurt.  This school thing is hard.  I am finding that my little precious soul is more of an introvert. I am an extrovert. I love social situations and i pray heaven is one big coffee shop where i can visit with the ones i love. That being said, my new dilemma is parenting her the way she needs to be parented. I don't want to be "too much" and in her face and excited, when maybe she needs to be alone and unwind.  My girl is beautiful to the core. She has such a kind and gentle spirit. I see her reaching out to others, (in her quiet way) and i see her sharing and being kind and darn it if my heart doesn't hurt for the possibility of it not being reciprocated!  Watching the teachers talk to them so grown up and expecting so much from them (rightfully so, they are the teachers) just makes me want to high five them more and tease and laugh. And that's what i do. They are so serious and i see their little minds working and pondering things. But when i am helping them make their "Valentines Bee "and they do it wrong, i just wink at them and tell them its awesome that way too. When the little guy with the mohawk tells me he wants to be a Jedi when he grows up because he already has a spaceship on his own planet. I totally play into it. I can see them open up and just be kids for a second. I love it. The are all so special and need so much love. I feel like hugging them all and telling them to ignore their "paper scraps" today,  I'll pick them up for them.  I know this is such an important stage of learning and growing, but I just see little babies in chairs that are too young to feel the pressure of it all. I see with a mothers heart i guess. A big sappy "i'll do it for you" mothers heart!: )

As hard as it is to accept your baby is growing up, i am also trying to embrace this amazing new time. I feel like i can't squeeze in enough time with Ruby now that she goes to school full days. Two to three hours a day with my girl, isn't even close to enough time.  And each day i am reminded of it. So, when they disobey or act out, instead of me feeling frustrated or annoyed, i just try to understand they are learning and growing up. It reminds me to calmly explain for the 552nd time why we hang our coats up instead of throw them on the floor:) I get the job of preparing these little people to be amazing kids. And I want so badly to be present at every moment of it...

I don't think i am expressing the true depth of my thoughts. This is their childhood. Now. We are giving them the only childhood that they will ever know. These are the days they will always remember and look back on. It will be these memories that they will cherish forever, or end up trying to overcome in therapy .  And i think as adults, we tend to get caught up in the daily grind and the pressures and things of this world.  But none of that matters. Honestly, if you are working so hard to buy the biggest and the best things, you probably will attain those things, but you know what you'll miss?  Everything else. Kids don't need things. I get so tired of that way of thinking. "I'm going to give my kids everything that i didn't have as a child"  That's bologna and they know it. I think the only reason someone tries to convince people of this is because they need those things. The adult. They need to attain some sort of status. They need to feel filled. Because when it gets right down to it, that's who they are thinking about, themselves. Not the kids.  I think if i can give my kids anything of value, i want it to be time.  Because it is out of that time we spend with them that so many wonderful things develop and a relationship is strengthened. And to me, that's what its all about.  I want to make their childhood wonderful. Not because of all the things they had, but because of all the time we are together. Loving one another.

They are only little for so long and I want to be intentional at every thing i do with them. I want to teach them, smile with them, hug them, laugh with them, have patience towards them, enjoy them and protect them. Because i know now more than ever, that in the blink of an eye, they'll be grown.  And i don't want to miss or take one second of it for granted!

Today i have zero plans but to play toystory with the kids and snuggle them...And i am truly looking forward to it.


  1. Christina - Cried through this I think because my kids are the same ages as yours. Totally understand what you're saying, especially about kindergarten. It's heartbreaking. You're such a good mom though, especially because you think of these things and worry. You're doing a great job! Angela Sizer

  2. Aww...perfectly written, my friend. Now if I could only have this playing in my head on the hard days!

  3. I . Love. This. Paige has a few quirks of her own and my heart breaks just imagining how she may be treated once she is in kindergarten. I wish I could be there for every minute holding her hand and protecting her. But that wouldn't do either of us any good at all.