Parents, do you ever look at your child and think, “Is this beautiful being really mine? Did I truly create something so wonderful, so delicate, and so amazing?” Every day I catch myself just admiring the smallest features of the girls. Those tiny little ears, kissable cheeks and curious eyes. Every day I am grateful for these gifts God gave us but at the same time I question Him — Really? Am I worthy of caring for and nurturing such wonderful creatures!? But just as fast as those negative thoughts enter my mind they disappear as the girls catch my gaze and smile so warmly or look to me to answer their hundredth question of the day. Parenting is such a gift, and every new stage of the girls’ life starts to become my favorite stage.
There are so many stages in a child’s life: newborn, infancy, toddler and beyond. When Ariana and Averie were getting older I remember people saying to me, “Oh, this is such a fun stage!” And I always agreed! Each stage has brought it’s own share of difficulties for sure, but it’s also brought on new adventures, bigger personalities, and more memories. During every stage it was my favorite at the time. But now when I think back to them being newborns, or when I see other mom’s battling through the terrible two’s I think,” Nope! Don’t miss that! Not going there again!” So the girls are three and five now and THIS is my favorite stage — one as a toddler and the other with one foot already stepping towards being a “big kid.”
Now that Averie is three, she is old enough to understand sharing (for the most part anyway!) and participates in imaginary play very well with Ariana. I remember sometime early last fall when I was just getting used to being a stay at home mom, it hit me that my babies didn’t need me to play alongside them. I was picking up the kitchen and suddenly realized that I didn’t hear the girls (which could sometimes mean disaster) so I headed upstairs to investigate. And there they were, playing together so nicely without arguing or fighting. Without disturbing them I backed out of the doorway quietly and sneaked back downstairs. While I was of course over the moon excited that they could co-play together, I remember feeling SO sad that they didn’t need their mamma anymore to direct play time. Did they ever? Since then they play independently every day and it’s become easier for this mamma to only be tagged in for Little People or Barbie play on occasion.
But even though they play together every day, I still cherish watching them interact any chance I get. Listening to their little voices and the silly stories they come up with for their make believe fantasy is fascinating. When Ariana is away for the afternoon at preschool Averie starts to miss her big sister and counts down the time until the bus drops her off. Every day they race upstairs together and jump right back in where they left off that morning. Lately Ariana has drug her feet getting ready for school because she was having so much fun playing with Averie. My momma heart just can’t take the pride some days! 🙂 I don’t have sisters of my own, but I do have siblings so I know that they won’t always be in the same play-stage as one another with two years separating them. So until that stage starts, I’m going to live in the moments of princesses and castles, mommy’s and children on road trips, and the adventures of the 100 Little People village.