Monday, February 13, 2012

Enter A New Phase

Parenting is an ever evolving skill. I remember the physically exhausting days of having four little kids. Four kids who needed  me a lot. They needed me to tie their shoes, change their diapers, do their laundry, prepare their food, and feed them. I remember the stress and chaos of trying to herd four little kids through the grocery store while maintaining the mental capacity to bargain shop and stick to the budget. I remember the physical exhaustion of caring, providing, and supervising them.

I also remember of the words of those who had been there before me. They promised it was only a season in our lives. They promised that the diapers, the terrible twos, and the constant physical neediness of me would end. They said I would miss those days.

While I can't exactly say that I miss those days yet, I can say that those friends were right. Those physically demanding early days of parenting seem to be gone. Everyone can get themselves dressed. Everyone can feed themselves, and even make their own food to a certain extent. The older ones can help the younger ones.

They no longer have to go everywhere with me, but when they do go I don't have to try to push the cart and carry the baby. I don't have to worry about them knocking down the display shelves or hiding in the racks of clothes. There is no more dropping everything to run to the bathroom for the newly potty trained toddler. The kids can actually help in the store!

Those same wise friends also warned that the physical exhaustion would become mental exhaustion as the kids entered the teen and early adult years. They warned that there would be conflict and worry. They warned of walking the tight rope of protecting your kids while allowing them to become adults who make their own choices and take responsibility for them.

They are probably right. Those times are probably coming, but we are not there yet. We seem to be in a blessedly quiet and enjoyable stage of parenting. So far, the pre-teen and teen years have been mild and enjoyable. I plan to enjoy it while I can, and hang onto the hope that maybe, just maybe, we will get to enjoy years like this until they all reach adulthood.

I thoroughly enjoy these kids. They are such individuals, all full of personality and life. Sometimes, they make me want to pull out my hair, but more times they make me laugh. They make me proud. I love watching them grow and develop. They really are amazing.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't have said it better or agree more. I am LOVING the teen years. We have our issues but it is so much better than what people have said or are saying about their kids. I love seeing a glimpse of the future, of seeing their talents play out, their ability to make good choices in the midst of what seems like sometimes a dark world. My baby turned 9, almost a pre-teen. I think I will miss them, but it will be these years I miss. Not the years of crying, diapers, exhaustion, sickness. It wasn't all bad, but I am loving the NOW!