When I dreamed of becoming a mother, I gave very little thought to what life would be like after the baby phase. In fact, any time I envisioned myself as a mother, it was always to a little baby. How foolish. Did I not consider that these babies would grow up?
I imagined a quiet life, rocking my little one to sleep on the porch as I watched the sunset. My dream was picture perfect, reality on the other hand proved to be quite different. Those sweet moments that I imagined would last forever were gone in a flash.
They weren’t babies for long. They soon learned to crawl and to walk and to destroy everything in their paths. My home, once my oasis, had now become their playground. My furniture rearranged to keep them from pulling the curtains and from climbing the television stand and my decor boxed up and replaced with alphabet blocks and stuffed monkeys. Cheerios could be found in every room of the house, as could sippy cups and tiny plastic spoons. I had to be careful to not step on little cars and try to avoid kicking the potty which resided on the living room floor most days. I lived in chaos, total & utter chaos. This I certainly hadn’t imagined but what I also hadn’t imagined was just how much I would love these little people and how little this “mess” would bother me. It became our reality, it became my day-to-day life.
As the months and years passed, I slowly got my house back. Piece by piece we said goodbye to the play pen & the high chair, to the vibrating seats and the musical swing. Cribs turned into big boy beds and mountains of stuffed monkeys turned into piles of Pokemon cards.
One day I looked around and it was all gone. The world I thought I would live in forever had changed.
I can’t deny that I miss those sweet moments with my innocent boys as they explored their way into the world but I do love the stage they are in today. They are now young men, developing their own personalities and preferences. They are independent and responsible. We can have intelligent conversations and they are capable of making rational decisions. How did we get here so fast?
I have learned that parenting is an ever-changing experience, a constant transition into new and different phases. As my children grow, so do I. As my children learn, so do I. I am not the same mother today that I was last year because my children aren’t the same people that they were last year. I must progress with them, we must evolve together.
In a few years, the life that has now become all I know will once again be gone and I will have to adjust to my new role as a mother to teenage boys. The struggles will be different and the territory unknown, but I will venture through, just as I have in the past. What a beautiful journey.