There are times when things settle down, when the crying subsides, when the whining takes a break, and I can simply enjoy the presence of my children. We’re entering an “easier” season of parenthood, sure to be followed by a hard one. But I don’t want to worry about that. I just want to enjoy. Things are still crazy, still hectic, still messy, but either it’s getting better, or I’ve just adjusted my outlook and am better able to cope. Either way, it’s a blessing.
Daily, sometimes hourly tantrums have gone to weekly. Constant monitoring has gone to frequent sideways glances (as I hear a bowl of dry Cheerios spill in the next room). Things aren’t easy, but they’re easier. I’m only getting up once a night (if I’m lucky) instead of 3-4 times. A little more well rested, a little more predictability, and it makes a BIG difference. Like yesterday. I was able to take my children to the park and just let them play. I was right there, of course, but the toddler was able to move freely about the equipment, chasing her big sister. It was as if all the parts of parenting were distilled down to this one beautiful moment in time. The weather was glorious, their laughter echoed off a nearby metal building, and it was…one of the fondest memories I’ll have of their childhood.
My preschooler, jacket strewn on the tiny playground pebbles, climbed and ran and played make believe in her slick new cowgirl boots, blonde curls framing and sticking to her sweaty face. My toddler followed close behind, keeping up in her sparkly Dora shoes a size too big, diapered bottom still waddling a bit. I stood for a moment, a light breeze tracing its finger along the back of my neck, and took a deep breath. “I am SO in love with my children,” I whispered, with emotion so loud the love bouncing off the metal building that projected the echoes of their laughter.
I took in their bodies in motion, brains soaking in a new experience, hearts beating together as sisters, family. My oldest daughter has become both more independent and more affectionate, making for a lovely combination. She’s grown five inches in the last six months, quite literally, sprouting right before our eyes. And the youngest has become both more coordinated and more cautious, meaning she can easily scale the playground equipment and I no longer fear her (purposefully) taking a head dive off the highest point. And her language has exploded. She claps for her own accomplishments, and tells herself, “Job! Job!” (Good job.) She cocks her head at tiny puppies, pretty Christmas lights, and other aesthetically-pleasing things saying, “Awwwww…..cute.”
I love my children. I love my children. I am SO in love with my children.