So I've been a little sentimental over the last few weeks. I guess finding all those old pictures made me wake up and realize how quickly time flies. My boys have grown so much. Ethan is going to pass me in height within the next year to year and a half. His feet are bigger than mine and Daniel's feet aren't far behind. How did this happen? How did they get so big and grown so fast?
How are my girls five and seven years old? My babies came quickly. Ethan turned five April of 2008 ... mere weeks before our fourth baby, Grace, was born. It was a very stressful time. Deron underwent two surgeries while I was pregnant with Grace. We knew we were moving, but we didn't know quite when or where. After she was born, I went through some health issues that were scary for me since I was the primary caregiver to four children five years old and younger. When I hit my most difficult days, I called on our moms for help. But I had conditioned myself to only call when I was at rock bottom and absolutely beyond desperate.
Now, I joke with people that it was a pretty blur for a while, but I'm serious. It was blurry (and not always pretty) as I was so continuously busy with their constant needs. They needed my physical presence all the time. All the time.
Now, we've had quite the switch. I tease that we're in the golden age of parenting...between potty training and puberty, but realistically, they need me to be there emotionally. They still need me, but they can dress themselves and take care of their own spaces and physical needs...for the most part. When they were little, I had to intuitively know what they needed. They couldn't always communicate properly with me. I had to read them. Now, they will tell me if they're not feeling well, hungry, tired, etc. Now, they want to talk to me, all the time. They want me to listen, all the time. Not only do they want me to listen, they want me to understand their points of view. It's hard. I'm not sure which needs more difficult to sort through.
Yes, I get to sleep better, and I've delegated chores so the load of running a household doesn't rest solely on me and so that they will know how to do things when they leave home. But now, I worry about them. I worry about doing enough, being enough of what they need. I worry more than I should. Maybe worry is the wrong word. It's just a different feeling than when they're little. Their needs used to be so simple. My boys are only 9 and 10, but I can feel the change in their needs in a profound way.
Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that coming of age is hard on parents, and I'm a little nervous about the years to come.