Today B. turns 16 and G. and L. turn 2. Where did my babies go? Really, it was just yesterday that the girls were born and just the day before yesterday that B. was born. Time goes too fast... when you're looking back on it. I know there were nights when the babies would not sleep that felt like eons and I remember feeling that same way when B. was a baby and spent the first six months of his life wide awake. It sure would have helped to know that they would each become such terrific sleepers eventually.
I don't feel as melancholy about this 2 year old birthday the little girls are celebrating as I thought I might. I will certainly miss their babyhood (and having 2 two year olds will provide enough challenges to keep me occupied), I don't feel as if I missed their babyhood. I think I am far more melancholy about missing B.'s babyhood. Let me explain.
The wonderful thing about having babies #8 and 9 is that you have either raised, or nearly raised a whole host of children before them. Having watched my first few grow up, I am very aware of how fast it all goes and how much I will miss each stage after it's over. I have had the experience (more than once) of looking at pictures or watching movies of my oldest when they are younger and knowing, just knowing, I didn't appreciate it enough.
It's difficult when you have just littles. First, they require a lot of care and there is a limited amount of help they can give. But more than that, with my first few, I was aware of wanting them to get to the next stage. It was exciting to see what they could do and reassuring that they could grow and mature. I remember being a little impatient with they're babyness... even if they were cute. B.'s babyhood and toddlerhood is a bit of a blur, and it's easier to remember the hard things rather than him sometimes.
With these little girls, I feel as though I'm relishing each and every stage... even the loud or sleepless parts because I know when I look back, the whole thing will seem so short. As a result of this, I also think I am learning to relish the other stages my children are in as well. I won't ever have this specific group of ages and children ever again and I'm going to enjoy it for all it's worth, quirks of each child and all.
So, happy birthday to my three birthday children. I love you all more than you can know. B., I'm so proud of the young man you are becoming and can't wait to see what paths you lead us down next.
We'll do a small celebration tonight, but the big celebration will happen next week (along with D.'s birthday) when everyone is home from camp. Maybe I'll have some pictures to post tomorrow... just to hold off complaints.