A letter to my 29 y/o, mother of three self...and to all mamas with littles right now.
This is as much a reminder to myself as anything as I'm trying to live presently ... to live simply. I'm trying to soak in the days, to breathe in the fragrance of three little boys and the biggest one with whom I'm raising them. I want to drink in all the details of the here and now--to photograph and document it for them, for me..for us.
Sometimes these days are hard. There are days that drag on and seem to never end, even after daddy gets home. But, the years truly are sneaking by (How is Amos going on 4? And Solly pushing 2?) The nights are restless - sometimes kid inflicted, sometimes self inflicted. The discipline is never ending (both for them and me).
I want to enjoy this. The here and now. The season of little ones, so close together that people chuckle aloud when I tell them their ages with a smile on my face. They think we're crazy (or unknowingly irresponsible?). This is the good life...or, as one of my best friends Alexa calls it - the marrow of life. Yes, the days sometimes seem forever long, the dirty diapers endless, the discipline all day long. But it's also a season of the big boys sharing a room, something they'll never know any different (all the boys will one day share a room), almost nightly park dates or neighborhood walks, puddle splashing whenever there's a puddle to be splashed in, rock throwing, bubble blowing, baby wearing, and currently (but not forever) working on the white house. I want to stop worrying if the house is picked up when I leave to go somewhere or if plates were cleaned at meal time. A good friend told me that she was just told by a friend of hers that kids learn to eat veggies & other healthy things in social settings (i.e. they won't take girlfriends to McDonald's on a date..well, mine might-hah!) - to stop worrying about things like that and to remember that we have such a limited time to focus on heart issues. (*I'm not saying that I don't want my family to eat healthily, I have a nutrition degree from Clemson for goodness sake..but I can stop feeling guilty over the amount of CFA kids meals they eat in a week). I want to stop saying "no" to bubble blowing or fort building because I feel like it's inconvenient or not important. The boys won't remember if the house was picked up or the laundry folded and put away, but they will remember the kickass forts mama built & decorated, the "beeg" bubbles blown & sidewalk chalk Ninja Warrior courses drawn on Honey's driveway. I want them to remember that I didn't always have my phone in hand, but that I used my hands for meal making, crafting things to make extra money, taking photos...always taking photos. That my hands weren't neatly manicured and afraid to be dirty, but, much like little boys tend to be, they were (are) warty, have short, bitten finger nails and are calloused from working out (the gift I give myself).
I want our boys to enjoy being little & all that that entails. If it means abandoning any sort of healthy lunch for donuts after church because middle brother asked for them, so be it. If it means that they survive on Gogurt, cheese sticks, applesauce, bananas, chocolate almond milk (for biggest brother) & apple juice (for middle brother) this summer because they're too busy to sit at the table, so be it. If it means we play until we drop at the park every single night after daddy gets home and fall asleep in our dirty clothes on the way home and don't have a bath for three days, so be it. We (as parents) are a generation that lives in an over-protective bubble. Or maybe we want our kids to be in that bubble. We hover over them and are making them needy, whiney and dependent. We worry about things that are beyond our control and let that dictate too much of our lives. I want my kids to know what it is to play outside in our yard without me having to be one step behind them. I want them to learn independence & to develop common sense. Same goes for being at the park. I want to watch them fall and bump their heads and get up and keep going. I want to see them interact with other kids & to see how their little minds work in social settings...they can't do this with me hovering over them. (These are my just observations, of course.) I want them to be wild and free while they're in the safety of our home so that when it's time to set them free they're trained & prepared. I pray that the boys will remember being kids with a smile on their face. I want them to know what it is to have no worries & to be carefree. I want them to play outside and get dirty, to build things and tear them apart, to feel free to put the paint on themselves as much as the paper, to keep jumping off of everything even if it means scraped knees and elbows (oh, and new couch cushions), and for them to remember mama and daddy doing these things with them.