I want to be sure to document some of the wonderful aspects of having nonbabies, so that when another baby comes along and we’re back to the intensity of that season, I can look back and say, “Okay good, I really appreciated that while I could.”
Because I do appreciate it. I love it, actually. There is a whole lot of freedom in our daily life these days, and I’m extremely thankful to have this stretch before gearing up for Baby.
I look forward to having a baby in our family. I’m very excited. (In a hesitant, don’t-come-too-quickly sort of way.) So it’s not that I won’t be thrilled when the time comes for life to turn upside down. But for the moment, for the next 5 1/2 months, I want to celebrate this season.
-We can read chapter books at bedtime (currently reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).
-We can leave the house with little warning: no diaper bags, no feedings, no gear…just go.
-We can play board games as a family and fully expect that everyone will be engaged.
-I can get in the shower without even telling them. I just expect them to continue playing together.
-We can let the kids play outside without hovering over them.
-We can go on walks without a stroller. Today the kids and I walked a mile, with Charlie on the balance bike and Lillian on foot. So easy!
-I can ask the kids to do something and they will likely know what I mean and how to do it. And usually they listen. 🙂
-We can take trips or spend the night away from home, and it doesn’t mess us up too much. It’s more an adventure and less a hassle.
There are challenges in this season too, of course. And there will be unspeakable joys this winter with a wee one, of course. But I’m thankful for where we are right now. For these big kids I’ve got, for their growing independence, for the friendship between them, and for the joy in teaching their maturing minds. This is a sweet time.
After dinner last night, I watched through the kitchen window as Charlie rode his bike with no training wheels for the first time. I admit I had to wipe away a few tears. Charlie has always been our sensitive kid, uneasy with change and unwilling to try anything unknown. For the past year he’s been riding a balance bike (Lillian’s, actually. She currently prefers the teeny-tiny “Mickey Train.”), and he would have happily continued with that all summer. But Jeff was just sure he could handle his own bike, sans training wheels. I knew that one fall in the learning process could be incredibly traumatic for Charlie, so I was nervous and skeptical. Which is why I couldn’t stop the tears of surprise and pride and joy as I watched Charlie pedal away from Jeff with no trouble at all. Way to go, Cboy!
A bit later a new neighbor came over with her five kids to introduce herself. After I told her my name, she asked, “And are you expecting?” This is the first time a stranger has commented on my expanding belly. The first of many.
Then we walked to the park. And for the first time, I watched Charlie as he got going pretty high in the swing and then jumped out onto the sand below. I couldn’t believe his confidence! He’s growing up, and this seems to be a magical season of turning points for him. Maybe this will be the summer he puts his head underwater in the pool?
Last summer, I cried at the thought of Charlie being gone at school all day long. And I still hate it sometimes. I wish he were home more.
But now as summer approaches, I’m mildly terrified of his being home all day long. What will I do with him? He’s often quite needy and clingy, wanting someone to play with him every waking hour of the day. And I’m just not ready for an entire summer of dealing with that.
I know that being prepared will go a long way. Having plans of things to do, places to go, activities to try.
If you’ve stumbled upon this little blog and have any insight to offer, I’d love to hear it!
Well hello, little blog!
Here’s a funny comparison of my expectations last fall of our new school schedule versus how the morning often plays out by now.
THE ANTICIPATED MORNING SCHEDULE (let’s say it’s a Tuesday morning)
7:15 Alarm: Jeff gets in the shower, I wake up Charlie.
7:16-7:41 Help Charlie get dressed, feed him breakfast, then scramble around getting him and Jeff out the door.
7:42 Jeff and Charlie leave for school.
7:43-8:09 I shower and get ready for the day.
8:10 Wake up Lillian (and Jeff returns).
8:11-8:44 Get Lillian dressed and fed, then scramble around readying for preschool.
8:45 Out the door.
REALITY (Not always, but embarrassingly often)
7:18 Alarm: Jeff takes a shower, I wake up Charlie.
7:19-7:44 Help Charlie get dressed, feed him breakfast, maybe pack him a lunch, then sit at the table like a zombie, pretending to be present in this one-on-one time with my son.
7:45 Jeff and Charlie out the door.
7:45:30 Crawl back into bed.
8:09 I hear the garage door open. Jeff comes into the room and collapses onto the bed.
8:09:30 We’re both sound asleep.
8:22 I wake and glance at the clock. Nope, back to sleep.
8:29 Drag my dead body out of bed. Wake Lillian. Jeff agrees to get her breakfast.
8:30-8:58 Scramble around getting myself presentable, while urging Lillian to put her clothes on and get her backpack ready.
8:59 Out the door.
**My baby boy, who is very much not a baby, started kindergarten a couple weeks ago.
At 5 1/2, Charlie:
- much prefers to be with people than alone.
- loves playing baseball, frisbee, golf, tennis, stomp rockets…especially in the side yard with daddy.
- likes the thrill of spending money (grrrr…).
- is very capable of being sweet and thoughtful toward his sister, and does often choose to be.
- has long known his letters and sounds, and is now recognizing words and sounding out some.
- is extremely curious and wants to receive solid answers to his questions.
- likes to expound on game rules, jokes, stories, and memories until he’s exhausted every last detail.
- proudly uses big words in regular conversation.
- has an impressive memory for Bible stories and loves singing songs from this summer’s VBS.
**Then just last night, the kids started Awana. This is the first year they can both go without a parent working in Awana. It’s hard to believe I’m old enough to have a child in Sparks!
**This morning little Lillian went off to school too. It felt very surreal, walking into preschool and leaving Lillian but taking Charlie back home with me (he’s only in half-day kindergarten for another few weeks).
At 3 years old, Lillian:
- is full of spunk and attitude and independence.
- loves all things girly: princesses, nail polish, clothes, long hair, baby dolls.
- is most definitely a mama’s girl.
- really enjoys stick-on tattoos and band-aids.
- has an impressive vocabulary and ability to express herself, but doesn’t care much yet about the alphabet.
- is happy to spend all day in her dress-up clothes.
- makes up creative stories and tells them with grand hand gestures.
- loves watching Blues Clues, Boz, and My Little Pony.
- could spend hours cutting up tiny pieces of paper with her green plastic scissors.
It’s a big year with a lot of changes for all of us, but there’s a lot to be excited about and thankful for!
Charlie is a schoolboy now. He’s actually old enough to carry a backpack and walk into a classroom, where he remains for 2 1/2 hours without Mommy. Is it even possible? Wasn’t he just this?
Yet somehow, in the blink of an eye, he became this:
And this and this and this…
And even this: =)
We’re all so proud of you, Charlieboy!
My little man is at preschool. No tears from either of us, so I consider the first day successful. I’ll post some pictures soon, but first, a funny Charlie quote from earlier today.
After dutifully gobbling up some pretend chicken he prepared for me, I said:
“Mmm, that has a very special spice on it. What is it?”
He responded: “Canadian.”