Tag Archives: growing up

They’re getting so big…

Sometimes, just the briefest outpouring of words is worth sharing.

I glimpsed my middle child on the monitor last before I went to bed. He wasn’t making any noise, but I always turn the screen on to take a peek before I fall asleep. I was taken aback by how big he looked, how much of the bed was covered by the body I can still pick up and snuggle so tightly. He still fits in the crook of my arms when he’s still enough to cradle. But he’s getting so big…

My youngest asked me relentlessly to hold him yesterday. I was constantly picking him up, switching him from hip to hip, trying to convince him he was too big to hold for that long. Deep down, I actually loved that he needed me a little more than usual. I know it won’t be long before he’s too busy for me, and too independent to need me. He’s getting so big…

My oldest is smart, brave, and takes care of herself. She can get herself a snack, tie her shoes, and entertain herself for hours if I let her. But last night, she asked me for another song, another snuggle, a longer prayer. I could tell we hadn’t seen each other enough during the day, and she craved a little more attention. I knew she’d be fine if I left her, but I stayed. She’s just getting so big…

Overcome

I wrote this some months ago, thinking of submitting it here or there. It never seemed fully cohesive, but I’ve come to a stand-still on how to improve it. So here it is, unfinished, but meaningful to me. It’s time I let it go.

I was overcome.

In an instant, I was overcome with thoughts and fears and hopes and dreams, and overwhelmed by the flood of emotions.

I saw my little ones for what they would become… Independent. Whole. Grown. I saw them that moment not needing me anymore. Not wanting to hold my hand, or worse, preferring to hold someone else’s instead.

The tears came then, even as I strapped my baby into his car seat. His brother was dancing around the room, chanting the name of the cousin we were off to see. That dancing boy wasn’t as clumsy, and he spoke more clearly. What had happened to my barely toddling, nonsense-jabbering baby? He is still there, the same chubby smile beneath the same blue eyes. But so many things are different. The mixed emotions of pride in his growth and sadness in his disappearing babyhood flooded me at the same time. Excitement mingled with nostalgia is the feeling that replaced the months of tiredness mingled with nausea.

I know that when I have a baby, he won’t stay that way. I’m not surprised by the growth and the change. It’s actually the fun part, discovering alongside them, helping them learn and talk and walk and become a little more self-sufficient each day. But there’s a sadness, too, and sometimes, some days, I’m overcome by it. I need to shed a few tears for the baby they’ve left behind, because all I’ll have is memories of that little round face, bald head, or chubby hand. But I will have gained a runner, a cook, a hugger, and a singer. I’ll have a new friend, a hilarious joker, a brave and athletic boy, a smart and sensitive girl. I am glad for the shift. I am glad for the change. But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss the past.

This post is part of my NaBloPoMo, where I publish a  piece each day in November.

My Childhood Home

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus.

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I traveled to my hometown for an end of summer visit with my parents. It was a normal trip – we played in the pool, saw my grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousin, ate at our favorite restaurants and generally relaxed. But there was an undertone of sadness, or maybe nostalgia, throughout my week.
You see, my parents are building a new house, and moving out of the one I grew up in. We moved into that house when we first moved to what I consider to be hometown. I was 7 at the time, and so it’s the only home I remember very well. The house is too big for my parents, as well as the land it sits on, and the effort that taking care of a pool requires. My brother and I are planted firmly (or at least I am) elsewhere, and only come back for a few days at a time. So they’re downsizing, and I don’t blame them.

But still, I shed a few tears throughout the week, thinking of coming “home” the next time, but not to my home. Sure, I’ll be coming back to the same town, the same restaurants, and the same people… but it will feel strange to pull into a different driveway, and sleep in a different room. I still sleep in my childhood bedroom when we go, even though now it has a king-sized bed and my husband sleeps in it, too.

All in all, I’m glad we went down one last time, to the home I have loved so well, to let my kids swim and play, snuggle in my mom’s bed in the mornings, and wreck the driveway with chalk drawings. I’m glad I got to ask for a few things to be saved when they were packing up, and to make sure there were pieces of my childhood heart that weren’t thrown away. A lot of life has happened in that house, and I have so many memories tucked away there. The perfect last week there was like a promise from the Lord that even though the house wouldn’t be there for me to visit, my memories there won’t fade.