I've been a bit emotional regarding my kids lately. It seems like all of the sudden I'm overwhelmed with the fact that I don't have babies anymore. I don't even have toddlers. I have kids!
For years I've felt like I was over-needed to some degree. It seems like every 3 minutes one of them needed me for something. To wipe their nose, clean up a spill, change a diaper, get them a snack or a drink. To get something down, hold something open, pull something out or make something work.
As each day passes they need me for less and less. I'm continually amazed at how much they do on their own now. They can play by themselves for huge chunks of time. They can get by just fine without my intervening at every turn.
They get dressed, bathe (mostly) and brush their teeth on their own. They get themselves breakfast, and even some snacks. They put on their shoes and their coats and buckle themselves in all by themselves. They pick out and play their own games without my help, or knowledge even.
It struck me the other day to realize that I'm no longer in a primarily care-taking stage, but I've moved to a teaching/training stage. I have a short amount of time ahead of me to teach them and train them to love God and love people. I get a window of opportunity to teach them to take care of themselves so they can learn to take care of others. I get to instill in them morals and values, and skills that will guide their future. This is the time they are sponges. This is where they learn, where they grow and where they develop leaps and bounds.
I'm excited for this stage, but I'm overwhelmed with how quickly the baby stage passed. I remember wishing for the time that Titus would stop throwing his food on the floor. I blinked, and now I can't remember the last time he did. I saw a picture of him at Grandma and Grandpa's house that I'd never seen before. It was me giving him a bath in their sink at 4 months old. He was so sweet, so precious, so little, so helpless. So much has changed!
I graduated high school 10 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. 10 years from now Leeann will be nearing 17 and Titus will be 14. My kids will be driving and making HUGE decisions that will set the course for the rest of their lives before I know it. Just like that.
14 years from now I could be an empty nester. 14 years ago I was 14. I remember 14 vividly. Time flies. I'm not sure I'm ready for time to fly.
It seems like yesterday I was wishing and hoping for my kiddos to gain some independence so I could regain some sanity. Now I keep asking them to stop growing up. They're not listening though. The more I beg them to stop growing up, the more they insist the have to... it's just the way God made them.
I'm so glad God made them just the way they are, but it doesn't mean it isn't a little hard as a mommy. I love my children. I'm so proud of who they are and who they're becoming. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't stare at them an awe and wonder. I'm a mommy. I have the greatest job in the whole world! I am blessed beyond measure. God, thank you for my children, thanks for making me a mommy!