Thursday, May 31, 2012
around the corner
It is a remarkable feeling when you start to see your children as separate from yourself. They venture further from you, and you notice that your lap is suddenly empty more often than full. You can take a book to the beach and read two pages without interruptions. Your children find their snacks and water bottles on their own, dry themselves off, and keep each other entertained. Three years ago, in the depths of raising a newborn, a toddler, and a preschooler, I couldn't imagine what was just around the corner: this.
It's more than just freedom. It's the realisation that your children have a relationship with each other that will grow beyond the years that you have them with you. My girls have finally passed the at-each-others'-throats phase (for the most part) and I marvel when I hear them playing and giggling together, or cracking each other up while driving in the van.
Now I can picture them having the relationship I'd hoped for when I knew I'd have a second baby girl.
This is the moment I've been waiting for, in many ways. Is it tinged with regret, or longing for that time when they needed me so much more? Maybe sometimes. But just a bit. I know that next summer will be different again as we get back into carting-baby-to-the-beach mode. I suspect that this time I'll have the breathing space to embrace it and really KNOW that this is the last time. I picture this new little one learning to run, if only to keep up with those older siblings who by then will have this whole sibling thing figured out.
I was mourning the fact that I won't be able to stay home with this babe as long as I did with his/her siblings when a friend reminded me that this baby will have a different kind of childhood: one with three big sibling-friends to pull him/her along by the hand into the adventures this life has to offer.
And that feels so right.