April 06, 2009

It is Official

I am now officially the mother of a toddler and a preschooler. If it was mentioned before, it was simply not true...

Last week at this time, Tiny Princess was standing up, dancing in the middle of the floor, not holding onto things...and sort of taking stumbling steps around the room...from the couch 2 steps to the beanbag...or a step, and then she'd sit down and crawl.

Tuesday, she walked from her high chair the 2 feet to the transition between carpet and hardwood into our family room.

Wednesday, it was from the couch to BB's chair, about 4 feet.

Thursday, it was from the high chair, into the family room, to BBs chair...about 8 feet.

By Saturday, she was walking as fast as she could to keep up with her brother, and, in fact, when I had dressed her Saturday morning, and put her down on the floor, she walked quite calmly to her bedroom door (12 feet), looked left, then right, turned to the left, walked the 2 feet between their doors, and let herself into Captain Chaos' room, walked the 8 feet to his bed, and said "Buh, buh, da, da, DA!" to him, and then turned around, walked back to the door, through the door, and down the 18 foot long hallway to the master bedroom, which she opened, walked through, and proudly walked the few feet from the door to her bed, loudly announced her presence and whacked BB on the nose to wake him up...

I am saddened, and yet thrilled...no surface is safe from her sticky little hands (which makes me stand by my earlier proposition that children ooze sugar water, not sweat from their glands)...

She does this funny little high step, where she picks her feet up, and lifts her knees way up...a high-stepping waddle with her arms sort of half extended, half bent from her upper body for balance...and she's already carrying things with her as she walks through the house...sippy cups, socks, shoes, toys, clean clothes from the laundry basket...

It's quite adorable, really, but at the same time, it tugs at my heart, knowing that my babies aren't babies anymore, and before I know it, they'll both be in school during the daytime, learning and making friends...and whether or not I homeschool, they'll begin that slow drift away from me towards their friends, towards their chosen hobbies and activities, and I'll slowly start to become a spectator and fan, and not the be-all, end-all of their universes...

In fact...we saw an ad in our paper this weekend for a Pee Wee Sports camp that will let Captain Chaos experience basketball, t-ball, soccer and swimming...I asked the age limit of BB and he's like "Oh. 3. Guess we'll have to wait a year." And then it hit us...Captain's 3rd birthday is only 7 weeks away.

It is moments like those, when you find yourself thinking "what happened to the time in between that glimmer of thought that I was pregnant and today!??!?!!?" that really make me stop and think of all that we've accomplished in the last almost-4-years since finding out we were expecting Captain Chaos...that night where we cried in our master bathroom over a stick that was flashing the word "pregnant" at us, not really belieiving it, calling the doctor after that night of waking up to lay hands on my still soft tummy...hardly daring to sleep, just in case waking up in the morning would prove it had been a dream...heading to the hospital late in the evening, smiling, excited, not caring about the coming pains of labor and delivery...and then, holding him for the first time, wondering how something so perfect, so little could overwhelm you so completely in just a matter of minutes...delighting in each new skill learned, holding the rattle, then shaking it, then getting it into his mouth...then holding up his head, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, talking...feeding himself...and now, all of a sudden, there's this leggy, tall boy with big blue eyes, lashes a mile long, a smile to charm the universe and all its inhabitants...looking up at me, grinning and saying "twinkle, twinkle, little car...is that how it goes, Mommy? Noooo...that's silly, Mommy, sing it right!", and climbing up into a boosterless chair at the dinner table (although the booster is still attached to the chair) for meals, calmly demanding that his toast be "triangles, not squares, Mommy. Triangles taste better." and asking for "kepuch" on his "Chinkin and Fench Fies"...putting his fingers to his daddy's lips and telling him "close your lips when you chewin' Daddy" (even though BB doesn't chew with his mouth open), or leaning down, holding Tiny Princess' still chubby cheeks in his hands and telling her "I sorry! You ok?" when he's bonked into her, or she coughs, getting Cheerio dust in her throat...and I think to myself how I have to capture these moments...sear them into my mind and heart forever, hoping I can capture as many memories for the future as I can...knowing that soon, I'll be laying awake at night, wondering if letting him drive to the football game was such a good idea after all, and is that girl really someone we want him to be involved with, wondering when we should start college applications, and then, wondering if we're doing right to send him to that school...

It frightens me, this ability to see down this tunnel into my future, seeing the years speed by in my mind...hearing my son and daughter start to use that tone, roll their eyes, put up with me because I'm their mom, and it's easier to let me think they're going along with me rather than fight, but then to do what they want anyway...and all the mistakes I made, the stupid things I chose come rushing out of my memory, making me panic...

And, in the middle of the night, I sit bolt upright in bed, trying not to wake BB with my rapid breathing, sure that the pounding of my heart will wake him...and I creep down the hallway, trying not to open our door too slowly, to avoid the squeak of the hinges...and I stop outside their doors, putting a hand on each, trying to calm myself, needing to look inside and see that they are still my little ones...that I can still shape and mold them, teach them things, show them life, and pray like crazy that the things I'm teaching and doing will stick with them when they are having their own children...

And sometimes, the tears can't be stopped, as I pour my heart out, praying for wisdom, praying that they'll turn out alright, that I won't totally scar them...that they'll be kind, caring, compassionate, loving, kids, and then adults...that somehow, they'll grow up, knowing they are loved, and loving others, not scarred by societies demands on them, not scarred by people who aren't loving...

And some nights, I have to go in their rooms, listen to them breathing for a little bit, Captain Chaos snoring a tiny bit when he lays on his back, his perfect mouth open, slack in sleep...Tiny Princess still sleeping curled up, usually with her bum up in the air, holding her bunny in one hand, the other tucked under her rosy round cheek, lashes curling softly, hair a little damp from being warm...even breaths, deep breaths...

And I creep back to bed, sliding between the sheets, nestling down, hoping BB didn't notice I was gone, hoping that by the morning light I can be a bit more in control of myself...and wondering if it will ever lessen, this ache caused by being a parent...

1 comment:

Penny said...

as I read your blog, so many things come back to me. my boys are now 28 and 26, the youngest is going to be a dad in sept...you just cannot imagine how fast time flies..but just enjoy them..enjoy all the time you have..as they get older you go from being the parent to have best friends...God has made it an amazing journey and I am so blessed to have gotten to go along for the ride. have fun with your babies..