5 Things I Love About Being A Mom Of Big Kids
I spent a long time as “the mom of little kids.” I can remember wondering if my life would ever consist of anything more besides diaper changes, tantrums and the next breastfeeding session. Then I blinked and suddenly, I was no longer the mom of little ones.
Today, I am a mom of four “big kids,” all between the ages of 4 and 10, and my life of diaper changes and breastfeeding has been replaced with homework and sports practices and trying to keep my house stocked with enough food to feed them all.
My life looks so much different than it did even a year ago, but I know that soon enough my "big kids" will be teenagers. So, I’m doing all I can to soak up the moments I know I will miss with them, like:
1. Holding their hands in the parking lot. This particular milestone hit me with all the feels as I walked with my four-year-old into the grocery store one recent morning. We were just in the parking lot, but the way she slipped her little hand into mine as the sun glinted off her blonde braid prompted me to memorize the moment in all of its perfect beauty. How many times have I walked into a grocery store to grab “just a few things” with her, cherishing the feeling of her hand in mind? The day I walk in the grocery store alone, leaving me looking for her favorite pink grocery cart without her will break my heart.
2. How excited they get about their passions. While driving my son to soccer practice the other night, he chatted for a good 15 minutes straight about the science of glo-sticks. Courtesy of his six-year-old self, I learned that glo-sticks actually have two chemicals in them, and when you break them, only one chemical moves while the other stays put. He was genuinely so excited to pass this information onto me and I know I will miss my kids’ nerdy observations about the life they are just learning about.
3. Watching how earnest they are at sports. My son inherited my speed, which is to say, he’s not exactly the fastest runner in the bunch. Nevertheless, the boy is determined, and the sight of him, striding his little heart out, arms pumping and sweat running down his back—and still coming in dead last (with a huge smile on his face) is enough to make my heart crack in half. And my daughter is one of several girls on a football team, but do you think she hesitates a minute facing down the rest of the all-boy teams? Nope, and the best part? She never fails to look my way in the crowd after an awesome block. Little-big kids in sports are just the best.
4. Their friendships. Last week, I took my daughter to the park and a little girl from her class bounded up to her. “Do you want to play?” she asked. And that was that; they happily skipped off together. As they move into the teen stages, I know I’m going to miss this time, when making friends was as simple as just asking.
5. The genuine joy of a sleepover. As an adult, the thought of sleeping anywhere other than my own comfy bed fills me with dread; but for kids, granting them permission to have a sleepover makes you the coolest parent ever. Of course, every family has their own rules for sleepovers, but the same joy also applies to playdates. That hopeful look they get in their eyes, the conspiratorial glances between friends, and the excited squeal when you give the all-giving nod—I am here for it before they morph into boring old souls like their mom. Because I know I’m going to miss the days when the most exciting thing in my kids’ lives were root beer floats and all it took was a movie night to make their dreams come true.