I know these are the dreaded words that parents of young children don’t want to hear from parents with grown children but here I am saying it. “enjoy them because all too soon they are gone”. I remember one day when I had my two older girls at the grocery store before I had Ava. They were about one and four. All matching in their smocks and bows. An older woman smiled and said how cute and sweet they were. Then she said “enjoy them now, they grow so fast, then they are gone. I just smiled and said yes, I will. I secretly was thinking…It has obviously been a long time since you heard “mommy” “mommy” “mommy” all day long or vacuumed fries and unidentified food items from the creases of your car seats, or stayed up half the night with a sick child or had to go pee pee with a partner. Or had more food on your floor than your fridge…and so on and so on. I thought, I have over a decade to enjoy my sweet girls before they are gone, that is like forever! But guess what? It was not forever. Just like she said, I blinked and then one morning I was packing up Blakley’s Jeep and we were headed off to college.
When they were up at night, I couldn’t wait for them to sleep through the night, when they cooed, I couldn’t wait for them to talk. When they rolled, I couldn’t wait for them to crawl…then walk. And so on. Don’t get me wrong, I sooo enjoyed their milestones but my “what to expect the toddler years” book kept me up on what came next..hahah! Many years of coloring, playing, swimming, baking, singing, dancing. I love being a mom of three girls. As a matter of fact, we had much less technological distractions when they were little than we do now. We walked to the library and checked out books, no nooks. We played lots of board games, not I pads. All of our friends were real face to face friends, not facebook friends. We didn’t have texting that’s for sure. We made beautiful memories and took lots family trips. I always enjoyed them as little ones, but the thought of them leaving, was so far from my head. I did however, “sweat the small stuff”
sometimes quite a bit. I involved them in everything under the sun that they showed interest or talent in. We were busy busy busy!
When Blakley and Maelyn were eight and twelve, yes easy and pretty independent, SURPRISE…here came Ava. This little princess rocked our world for many reasons. It was like starting all over again. My type A personality slowly slid down to a type B or C maybe…if those are real “types”?! Five short years later I had a Kindergarten and a high school graduation in the same week! Talk about mental breakdown.
Now here we are with a sophomore in college, a sophomore in high school and a second grader ( all three I am very proud of). Ava, our youngest does activities but not ones that involve spending our lives in the car. Not just yet. By her age both Blakley and Maelyn were in a competitive sport/dance that required time and travel. Maelyn still competes in gymnastics and is an awesome gymnast!
Ava’s hair is brushed but rarely gets fancy “updos”. Clothes don’t have to match and super girl costumes get worn to the grocery store. I don’t rush things too early because now I know how fast they grow up. I am ok with letting my last one just-be-little.
I don’t care what anybody says, you never parent all of your children the same. If you do, there is a problem. You want to instill the same morals in them but each child is different. You yourself are different as you get older. You learn along with them, you grow along with them. You do your best and you pray that once they leave your home you have instilled good values that they will take with them and pass along to their family.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it. – proverbs 22:12
A little video of Ava and her sweet friends:) Click HD