I'm not a baby person. Never have been and probably never will be. Before I had my own children 10 and seven years ago, I had never even changed a diaper. Not even once. Of course after my son came a long, I fell madly in love with him just like they said I would. I loved when he would fall asleep on my chest and patiently wait while sitting up on his crib every morning watching my every move until I picked him up. I marveled at his innocent blissfulness at such an early hour of the day.
But I have to be honest, babyhood was kind of boring -- for me at least. The days were long. Some seemed endless. I recall many evenings when my babies were bathed and snug in their pajamas before it was even dark outside. Sometimes bedtime could not come soon enough.
This is no longer the case -- in my house at least. I find myself craving one last overly descriptive story about the seating arrangement at my daughter's school lunch table or an in-depth analysis of my son's fantasy football league. Did I mention that I really don't even care about football, much less fantasy? So I guess I'm a kid person or more likely just really enjoying their elementary school years.
My kids are fun and sweet and just plain good company. Of course they are not perfect, and I recognize this. But more importantly I recognize that this time too will pass and now more quickly than I want it to. It is such a cliché, but those babyhood days went by slow while the years really did go by fast, and I know they will only get faster. I get it. I really do, and I want to freeze them now - right now.
I see what's right around the corner -- middle school, high school, college and well I don't want to even think about after college. After all, I sometimes have a hard time believing how long ago it was that I was in college. I know that my kids won't always want to tell me their secrets and the goings on of each of their days because at some point, I stopped telling my parents mine. We all did.
I realize how great this moment in time really is. They are independent but not too independent. I want to be with my kids and they want to be with me too. Soon enough this won't be the case. I see a glimpse into our future as I watch young teenagers standing next to their parents at a neighborhood party, but their eyes and minds are actually somewhere else -- with their friends texting about where they will meet up later that night. And I see the look in their parents' eyes telling me that their kids no longer belong in the neighborhood with their parents as mine still do on a late Saturday afternoon.
The time will be here soon enough. I know because I remember watching those same neighborhood kids at the elementary school bus stop as I stood inside my house sleep deprived on one of those long babyhood days. I can't even imagine being out at the bus stop with those big kids, I would think to myself, and yet here I am. I'm at the bus stop, at the basketball games, the parent teacher conferences, and even the first, and in our family's case, last viola concert.
So I do what I probably should have done years ago -- or at least tried to do. I savor each moment now as it's happening to me and to my kids. Because as much as I try to slow down this sweet spot of a period we are in, I know that's impossible. That's what makes it so sweet. It's uniquely its own time. They all are.
And who knows, once I find myself in the next phase of where I imagine there will be some awkward silences followed by hopefully just a few slammed doors, I may just long for those days of simple boring babyhood.