/> Raising Angels: Growing Pains

Friday, January 28, 2011

Growing Pains

Before you say it, I know how late it is and I understand fully, believe me, that I should be in bed right now. The problem is that there are not enough hours in the day for me at this point in my life. Some days I make the good decision to lay it all down and go to bed and some days, sleep has to be sacrificed to get the job done.

Tonight it's less about the work and more about wondering if I never go to sleep if somehow, maybe, I could freeze time. Don't worry, I'm not so sleep deprived that I think this really will work, but oh, how I wish...really, really wish, it would.

The babies are growing and I want it to stop.

In the last six months I think all four of them have grown a few inches. Actually, I don't think, I am painfully reminded of this truth each time they walk out the door with pants hovering at their ankles and sleeves that fall somewhere between three-quarters length and not so cool. Shoes are getting tight, jeans are difficult to snap and the socks are so small that the toes have escaped into the open. Under the circumstances, it's hard to ignore how much they’re growing.

Hard to believe, but it gets worse. Tucking Aiden in the other night I asked him why he balls up so tightly. "Why don't you stretch out a bit bud? You might find it more comfortable."

"I would but this is what happens when I do," was his honest reply.

And Dawson, well, he's not far behind.

My boys have actually outgrown their beds! Seriously, how did this happen? Aiden first slept in that bed when he was about 17 months old and Dawson needed his crib. Somehow I've attached all kinds of emotions to that little bed and its inhabitant.

Yes, I know that in those car beds are crib mattresses which gave me no issues when they left their cribs. Those things are bulky and huge and I was always happy to get them out of the room. Somehow, moving them out of the cars into actual beds seems so much more poignant.

Standing in the furniture store Nelson and I were having conversations about getting some quality stuff that might actually see them through until they go off to...deep breath...college. I firmly stand by the fact that I will never, ever be old enough to have kids in college. Never mind that big milestone birthday I have coming up in July.

Tug go the heartstrings.

Max is less than a month away from turning three - THREE. I have yet to have a child turn three when I didn't have a baby on my hip or wasn't pregnant with the next one. Three was huge back in those days. Every year meant a little more independence, a little less carrying and a teeny bit more time without them under foot. Three for Max, however, is a bit much. He's the baby after all, even though he reminds me that he is so NOT the baby every time I call him that.

When his therapist came this week, he told me that he was reviewing Max’s six month chart and couldn't believe the progress he's made. My pie in the sky, wondered if he would ever do it, goal was for Max to be able to walk up and down the stairs unassisted. That's kind of a big deal when you live in a two-story home and your permanent room is meant to be upstairs with the big kids. When he did that a month ago at the end of a therapy session, I burst into tears. God is so good. Honestly, there were many days when I thought that goal was out of his reach, and now I'm wondering what other kind of goals we can set for him. The baby is growing into a child whether I approve or not.

Heartstrings now in full extension.

What threw me for a loop was Wednesday’s Little Sisters’ skating party with Mackenzie. Until yesterday, this was just another event on the calendar. We do it every year and as fun as it is, it means the year is over half-way finished and the summer break is closer. It was a fun thing to be crossed off the never-ending "to-do" list, I'm ashamed to say.

It was, until I sat in the gym waiting for the girls to change and watched the little first graders gather together. They looked so tiny. Suddenly I was here, four years ago when Mackenzie's class was that age and the fifth graders looked gigantic to me.

Mackenzie is in the fifth grade now which meant that yesterday was her last Little Sisters’ skating party...ever.
Worse than that, it means that next year she will be in - I don't know if I can say it...gulp...middle school.

That is all I can really say about that now because the heartstrings have been stretched to their limit and let go. I'm thinking this is where that pain in my chest is coming from. Those strings hit so hard that they not only bruised my heart, they also pushed my stomach up into my throat.

Ordinarily I would be crying now. I felt like crying yesterday as I watched my little girl help the littlest girls skate. She is not gigantic like those fifth graders were four years ago...is she? Here's the thing though, with the three funerals in three weeks and another that hit so hard I can't even write about it yet, the tears are gone. I felt them well up but I couldn't squeeze any out. Of course in a skating rink filled with elementary school girls having the time of their lives, this is probably a good thing.

Unfortunately, when you have no tears, there isn't the catch your breath, rub your eyes and deep sleep from the exhaustion that follows the crying. Instead, my heart, it hurts. Yep, tears welling again, nothing falling.

Time is not on our sides. Time is a heartless thing that stomps, although some more melodic folks seem to think it marches, all over the place. It leaves its mark and moves forward no matter how hard you try to pull it back. This, I know is that way it's supposed to be. Change is a good thing. Growing is inevitable and necessary, unless I want some really odd-looking adults down the road. These are the moments I've waited for right? The hurry up and get this over with and move onto the next stage is happening right before my eyes.

Years and years ago, when I looked like thisI dreamed of being where I am today.

Funny, in the dreams I didn’t notice this pain.


Blogger Katie said...

Amy- This is a beautiful post! I feel that way so much too as I see theboys grow. And, Like you, My youngest is turning 3 and I have no baby on my hip, nor one on the way! Yes, they do grow up way to fast. I try to take as many pictures as possible to remember this time. Freeze it, like you said.

When I read this post, I thought of this article . . . you need to read it!


11:41 AM  

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