Why is it that the boys can play happily without needing anything, but the minute I get in the shower I hear, "Knock, knock, knock" on the door? Seriously? Luckily for me, I always lock the door now.
I remember when the boys were babies, I would strap them either in their bouncy chair right outside the shower or in the doorway "jumper" while I was in the shower. That way, they were safe, and I could see them (and they knew I was there). As they got older, I would close the door when in the shower, but didn't lock it if Jeff was not at home. That way, if they needed me, they could get to me. Now that they are 7 and 9, though, I close AND lock the door when I'm in the shower. I figure whatever they could possibly need can wait until I'm out.
Those kinds of changes are not a big deal for me in and of themselves, but I have been struggling lately with what changes like those represent: my boys are growing up! I tease them all the time that they need to stop it and I am going to sit on them to keep them from growing so fast. They just giggle, and I do, too, but inside I am screaming, "Stop! Stay just the way you are right now and don't ever change!"
Ever since my 40th birthday in November, I have been keenly aware of how life changes. I've joked that I'm going through a midlife crisis, but I really think I am maybe. I have thought so much about how things are changing: I'm getting older and so are my kids. I am leaving the childbearing age, and that has been INCREDIBLY hard for me. Not so much physically (yet-though I did mention before some of the fun physical changes I've experienced), but EMOTIONALLY.
It hurts so much to think that I will never carry another baby in my body and feel it kick. I will never hold another newborn that belongs to me and Jeff. I will never rock a baby of mine to sleep or sit before him/her completely mesmerized by each little babble and coo. I will never have a daughter. Ever.
You might think this is silly, but for some reason for me, it is a big deal. It is a loss. It is hard for me to say goodbye to that stage in my life- I have LOVED it so much. I thank God for the blessing of my two beautiful boys. I am so thankful that even after Jeff and I had some trouble conceiving our first, that I was able to eventually have two very healthy and happy children.
One thing that helps a lot is that I KNOW that it is God's will that we are done having children. Jeff and I have prayed over this at length and received HIS guidance in this matter. I know in my heart that it is God's will for us to be through. My prayer is for God to ease my longing and to help me reach a place of acceptance and contentment.
Speaking of my boys making changes and getting older, Will asked me this past school year if he could start calling me "Mom" instead of "Mommy". "I am the only third grader at school that still calls his mom 'Mommy'," he said to me. Even though it stabbed me a little in the heart, I felt bad for him and didn't want him to be teased so I told him, "Ok." A couple weeks later, I noticed that he had not started calling me "Mom." So I asked him about it. He said, "Maybe I'll start calling you 'Mom' next year in 4th grade." Fine with me! :-)
Will has one more year in elementary school, and then he is off to intermediate school. Colin will be in the 2nd grade this upcoming school year. A friend of mine asked me the other day what I'm going to do when the boys are no longer at the same school that I'm at. I told her I was going to curl up into a ball and cry! :-) Obviously, I will be fine, but its just one more step in "letting go" that I will have to do as a mom. I pray for grace to handle each step.
There are certain things that can bring me to my knees emotionally right now such as:
* playdo- Weird, I know, but my boys used to love it, but now they think it is for "babies".
* the song "Feels Like Home to Me" (don't know who it's by)- When I was a stay-at-home-mom, I would often take the boys to Grapevine Mills Mall-just to get out of the house and walk around. This song was always playing in the mall.
* the theme song to the show "Family Ties" - When Will was a baby, I would always watch this show when I nursed him in the middle of the night.
* pacifiers- I can just see Colin- he always had more than one-just in case. At times he'd have one in his mouth and one in each hand. Then, he'd push the paci over to the side of his mouth like a cigar when he wanted to talk!
* Thomas the Train, Jay Jay the Jet Plane, Bob the Builder, and Elmo- Oh-the memories!!
* Hap Palmer Music Video- Will had a video of Hap's that he loved and would watch over and over when I was on bedrest with Colin. I still have this video. I don't plan to part with it!
I could go on and on. But, that's probably enough already to convince you that I am completely losing my mind! Haha! :-)
No, I am not going gracefully into this season of change, but I know in my head that God will walk me through it and that I will grow as a result. It's my heart that just wants to hang on. The GOOD news of it all is that I wouldn't be feeling this way if my experiences hadn't been so wonderful! I have been blessed with a beautiful life, and am so thankful for every minute- and I don't like to think of any of it changing.
It's like Colin wrote in one of his school assignments this past year:
"I like my life becouse my life is grete." --- Colin Moore, age 7
Precious boy! :-)