We all have times when we blink and realize that our kids are all of a sudden in a new size of clothing or shoes…and we all live in different Seasons of Life. I am now officially the mom of big kids. I have no more littles.
I love my kids in every age and stage of life, and truly enjoyed all of the Baby Time, the Adventures, and even the Teenagerness with my oldest. Now, I have the middle and youngest firmly in the big kids stage – they are independent, they have multiple after-school activities, tight friends groups, and opinions about everything.
What made me realize that I have big kids? Several weeks ago, both of them not only pulled the sheets off their beds for me to wash, but they then took the clean sheets and made their own beds up again. It’s a little thing. But it had such a huge impact on me – all of a sudden, they were doing a simple chore that I had always done for them.
We have also spent a good deal of the last few weeks doing a full overhaul of my son’s bedroom. He wanted all new furniture, a new color scheme, and we went with a bigger dresser and moved from a single twin bed to a bunk bed with trundle mattress for his buddies to sleep over. There were negotiations. I argued that his friends were getting rid of their lofted beds. He didn’t care. He knew what he wanted, and we found a happy medium. I suspect that by high school, he will want to do away with the bunk. But, he’s finishing up fifth grade and we have a few years left.
Transitioning between age groups is part of Growing Up. The things we notice most in the day to day are kids growing out of clothes or shoes, and constantly having to keep up with their growth spurts (see Growing Kids). We don’t always keep track of their emotional or mental growth spurts – and they grow up in leaps and bounds on us.
My Teachable Moments these days involve educating my kids about current events, natural disasters, or other headlines they see scroll across the news screen – or explaining our take on things they hear at school and ask us about. We’ve leapt way beyond the basics of preschool or learning the alphabet. I’m taking a parents/kids tag-teamed intro Spanish class with my kids – and it’s amazing!
While I am still sad that we’ve moved on from the fun of early childhood, I am living in the moment and cherishing every time my kids come to me to ask a question or want to sit with me on the couch before bed. Those moments are fewer than they used to be, but I know (because my teenager still sits on my lap to annoy me), that I still have time to enjoy them at home.
We have more Teenagerness coming up, for both kids, but for now I’m going to enjoy the middle years and all the adventures that we have coming before high school. I know we only have 18 Summers to enjoy our kids. Big kids are a lot of fun – I’m living in the moment as much as I can. I’m sure I’ll blink and it’ll go by fast.