In the blink of an eye an infant turns into a toddler, a toddler into a preschooler, preschooler into kindergartener, and a kindergartener into a first grader and so on… It’s so easy to get caught up in the frustrations of a day, the whining or fighting or complaining or crying or whatever the daily dose may be. BUT, as I see that eight years have flown by and Reilly is really finding his own way and his growing independence it causes me to reflect. I think about how his two feet used to fit in my one hand and this morning he came into my room to ask if he could borrow a pair of my socks. Reflection comes in so many ways, and so many things cause us to look back but I force myself to look forward all the time with the help of knowing what was behind me. I find that I want to always correct the things I didn’t do well, the yelling over things that in hindsight didn’t matter, the dishes I did instead of playing with cars on the floor, and the criticism I gave to him over issues that were actually mine and not his. It’s funny as a parent every corner you turn you see what could have been done differently. It’s one of those things that is magnified in your head like all the things that you did that were bad growing up. You never forget the test you cheated on, the candy bar you snagged, the kid you punched, the class you skipped, all that stuff. Parenting just carries over some of those things maybe my childhood was my preparation. I KNOW the things I wish I did different with Reilly and Kate and Shea and I forget to sometimes acknowledge the things I did really well. (note these are my thoughts not Shad’s – although I suspect we feel the same way. We are really on the same page with this kind of stuff).
I looked in on the kids before I went to bed last night. I sat on Shea’s bottom bunk and just stared at her – her crib was behind my back. As I sat there I realized how much of her little life had already made it’s way past me. I just love her – all of them – so much. As I sat there rubbing her leg as she slept with her thumb in her mouth and her little animal upside down pressed against her face as she snuggled with it – I thought to myself just two weeks ago you were in a crib. Two months ago you were in diapers and two years ago you were a little child who needed me for everything.
Maybe it’s fast approaching autumn that makes me feel the change so much. Another summer has past and it’s the time of year that reinforces that a year has passed is more evident than ever. Perhaps it’s when nostalgia sets in and we all get prepared to “hibernate” till spring. I don’t know. I just know part of me feels a sadness that these wonderful years as a parent of young children are ending. In the next two months Shea may be in school full-time (or someone will come to the house) so a lot of changes are in the air. Life changing changes if you know what I mean.