When I was a kid, my mom was a teacher and every summer when she was home, she would always watch Guiding Light and The Young & The Restless. Y&R became like a staple in our home. And my neighbor (and best friend)'s mom also watched it. So when she and I were about Jr. High aged, we started wathing it together during the summers also. And so it lives on. I DVR Y&R everyday. So sad, but true.
Anyway, that really has nothing to do with anything except to say that as I was watching it the other day it got me to reminescing in my own mind about my childhood and the things I most remember. And then I started thinking about my own children and what things they might remember someday.
My oldest child is going to be 6 in about 2 weeks. I am so proud of her and so excited for her, as she is very excited to be turning 6 also. But as I was sitting there thinking, I started remembering her birth and when she was 18 months old, and when she was 2 (which is the age of our current youngest). And it suddenly struck me that, though she has several years of growing left to do in our home, turning 6 and starting 1st grade next year really marks the end of the first official "stage" of her life. She is becoming a big kid. She has outside influences and friends now. She is learning things about the world that her dad and I are not teaching her, just through experiencing the world. And while she is still plenty naive and precious, a certain amount of her naivety is gone now.
Michaela Mary, 1 1/2 months old.
I couldn't help but start crying. Not because I wanted to keep her little forever or because I think that her life isn't going to turn out wonderfully. Mostly because it suddenly made me keenly aware of how quickly time passes. I wasn't ready to be done with that part yet. There were still too many days at home I wanted to have with her. There were still too many silly songs I wanted to sing and board books I wanted to read without hearing, "Oh mom, I'm too big for that now" or "Really mom, I'd rather watch Strawberry Shortcake right now".
Michaela Mary, 5 years old.
My daughter still likes to cuddle. She still likes to read books with me and sing songs with me. But they are chapter books now. And the songs are starting to get a little more grown up.
But then I thought, I have to embrace this stage for everything it is and enjoy every second of it now or I will turn around and it will be gone too.
So we are baking together. And crafting together. And I want to teach her to crochet now. And she is learning to be a young lady. We are reading "Little House on the Prairie" together. And we are sharing stories and jokes together and laughing. And I love this stage with my daughter, regardless of how much I may miss the previous stage.
And, it made me very aware of how much I need to stop and enjoy the young stage that my 2 year old and my 4 year old are both currently in right now. I will always charish the memories. I just want to make sure I am making plenty of them to take with me. And for them to keep also.
Michaela (5), Christopher (4), and McKenzie (20 months)
Stop and enjoy your life now. You only get to do it once.