I’ve been trying to sort through our stuff a little bit in an effort to get rid of what we don’t use and be more organized in general. It is a never ending quest! This morning I was going through the front room where we tend to hoard random things… I went through all of our play kitchen stuff- we have too much and I divided them up and put some out for Thatcher to use, some went in the donation pile. Those little plastic toys reminded me of ALL THE HOURS that I played with my big kids when they were toddlers. Those afternoons where one kid sort of napped and one definitely did not… the time before 5 pm felt like an eternity. We did puzzles and play doh and painted rocks and played pretend restaurant and anything I could think of to keep us occupied when we couldn’t go out. Some days we watched a movie while I rested with one eye open on the couch. Those days felt long and endless and repetitive.
These days those big kids leave my home at 7:15 and I don’t see them again until almost 2. Most days it is such a relief- they are off learning and I can be at home doing what I need to be doing. But today I remembered their little diapered bodies on my carpet and their little fingers doing puzzles and asking questions and ohhh Isabelle’s little voice when she was small. WHERE DOES THE TIME GO! I felt like those days would never end. And in a way, they haven’t… Thatcher takes most of my time, especially in the morning before his nap, and we eat together and get dressed and read one million books as he chucks them off of my lap onto the floor. He is so fun and he learns new things every day and I must have forgotten a little bit of toddler life since having Lincoln. But in a few years he will leave me at 7:15 too.
I have felt lately that this is a calm time in my life…like the rest between sets of waves. My big kids are at school, Thatcher and I have special time, he is nearly sleeping through the night. I’m getting to projects and things I have been putting off for the entire first year you bring a baby home. It takes me a full year to come out of the fog and rejoin regular life again. And here we are. Time will go by and I’ll look back at this particular season and remember how smooth things felt, and how content I was in my life. I have felt that before and hopefully I will feel it again.
I am so happy in my role as a mother, so happy that I honestly get choked up almost every day. Especially with this blessing of Thatcher after losing Max and the rough years that followed, I am so thankful for him in our family and the miracle that he is. (Not to say there aren’t days where I want to pull my hair out and I have to apologize for yelling at my children, cause there are plennnnnnty of those days too.) Being a mother is kind of heartbreaking- time is so fleeting and the kids change so fast, you pour everything you are into them and then they grow up and move? How is that fair?! How on earth do you deal with that? Seriously- I am asking, I want to know, how does this work as an older mother? How do you let them go?
Sometimes I wonder if I will enjoy my later life as much as I enjoy these exhausting child bearing years. Is being older as rewarding? Do you feel close to the Spirit as you do when you are around little children? Is it hard not to feel needed as much?
This morning before the kids left, we read the Light the World scripture for the day. Mark 10:14, “Suffer the little children to come until me.” Prompting us to spend a little extra time or do something special with our kids.
Maybe its hormones, maybe its because its Christmas time. Maybe it was those dang plastic toys in the front room today. Or maybe it was arranging the homemade Christmas ornaments back onto the tree after tiny fingers had pulled them down. But I’m super nostalgic for my small little toddler babies who sucked the life out of me for years but are now across town at school. I am still exhausted and feel behind on most things but what I wouldn’t give for just a couple of hours on the carpet with those little people again.
In a few hours they will return home to me and I’m going to squeeze them extra tight and kiss their faces until they push me away and complain. And it will be worth it.