This may sound crazy, but when I had kids, I didn’t really think about them growing up. My hormone addled brain was completely focused on the baby phase. I was in love with snuggles, first words, first steps, first teeth, first everything. I had friends with big kids who said they were glad to be out of the diaper phase, or the having to feed the baby phase, or having to get up in the middle of the night phase, but I just didn’t get it. How could they not want a little baby around the house?!? I was so in love with my babies, I didn’t think about the fact that they would grow into big kids someday. Recently I have discovered, to my dismay, that day is here. And I was pleasantly surprised to find, it’s kind of nice to have big kids. Don’t get me wrong, I still love baby snuggles. But, once I got past the initial shock of realizing that my kids are growing up, I’ve learned to embrace it.
I know, I really shouldn’t have been shocked. Kids grow up, that’s what they do. But, a couple months ago, my son was invited to a friend’s 10th birthday party. 10th! I almost had a panic attack when I realized my first little baby would also be turning 10 soon. I know this didn’t really happen over night, even if it sometimes seems like it did. I have noticed, that I can’t carry my “baby” around anymore, heck, he’s almost as tall as I am, and at the rate he’s eating lately, he’ll soon be taller. But, he’s still my baby, he still snuggles with me on the couch, just not in my lap, he’s still excited, rather than embarrassed, to have me come to school and eat lunch with him.
To add insult to injury, his little sister also insists on growing up. This fall she starts kindergarten! I know, it’s not like they’re leaving for college tomorrow, but the baby phase of their lives is over. I guess the part that’s hardest for me, is realizing that the baby phase of my life is over too. I looked forward to having babies since I was a little girl, and then the baby phase went by so fast, it left my head spinning. Granted, not every day went by fast, in fact, some of the nights were particularly long. But, I’m starting to realize that while I like the idea of having a baby around, I’m not ready to go through it all again.
I like having kids who can help around the house. I like going to a store without anyone pitching a screaming fit. I like sleeping all night long. I like going on camping trips without bringing diapers. I like having conversations about things other than poop. I like not having to clean up poop. While it’s taken me a while to get used to having big kids instead of babies, I finally realized something. I like having big kids who I not only love, but actually enjoy hanging out with, because they are becoming amazing, independent, unique people. I just wish they’d do it a little more slowly.