Parenting | When everything changes

Things change drastically from when your kids are 2 and 3 and when they are teenagers. When your kids are 2 and 3, this is basically how your thoughts go.
Ok…one more hour until nap time.
Ok…just a couple more hours until daddy gets home.
Alright. If I can just make it to bed time.
I can do this…it’s almost the weekend!
I got this…as soon as those teeth cut through!
I am almost there…as soon as he is potty trained!
And every thought (although we are for sure loving all the little moments with our precious babies) is basically trying to make it through to the next moment.
The next phase.
The next part of life.

And then things change.
And I don’t exactly know when this change happens, but suddenly?
We realize that every moment that passes are days that are running out.
We are reminded that at the end of each day?
It’s one day closer to our “little” boy being done with high school.
With college.
Closer to moving out.

This is when everything changes.
I was just looking back at a video of AJ when he was 13.
He was already taller than me. Easily.
He was already doing things on his own, and very independent.
But his voice! His voice hadn’t changed!
And I don’t even remember when I went from hearing the high-little-boy-voice to the now man-voice! But suddenly it’s totally different.
And it is just one more reminder that the days are running out!

This is why I am encouraging you moms to get lots of pictures.
I mean really. Go and book a photographer to take your family pictures.
And take tons of pictures on your own!
You can not ever have too many pictures.
Enjoy every moment.
Every time they call you back into their room for something?
Stay. Stay a little bit longer.
Hug them a little bit too tight.
Kiss them one more time than seems normal.
Because you want to remember. You want to hold on to this time!
And when they want you to play another board game with them? (what kind of crazy animal invented monopoly? The longest game ever.) Just play it.
Play it and laugh. And be silly. And have fun.
And when they ask for a hug? Give one.
And when they don’t ask for a hug? Give one.

Every single day is a gift. A literal gift from God with your kids.
We don’t know how many of them we get.
And we don’t remember when things change from crazy to somewhat calm.
But suddenly I’m here.
And I love this age. I truly do.
But sometimes I miss the younger age.
The chubby cheeks, the dirty hands, the monkey hugs, the never ending sippy cups and veggie tales songs.
I miss it. Just because it reminds me that time runs out.
It goes fast. It goes so so fast.
And even with saying that, the time now is going fast.
AJ is just a freshman. Ry is still in middle school.
There are going to be days when I look back at pictures from this time of my life and can’t believe how little they look, how different things were.

I don’t count down now.
I don’t wish away minutes and hours to get to bed time.
I look at the clock and wish it would stop.
I still hug and kiss and snuggle and dance and love.
But things are different and I am constantly being reminded of that.

Hold on to these moments.
Enjoy and cherish every single stage.
Every single phase.
Laugh at the noise, the lack of sleep, the dirty dishes and the loads of laundry.
Enjoy every minute. You never know how many more minutes you will have.

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