Having a child really shows you how quickly time goes by. They change and grow so fast that you really learn to value every moment because you realize how fleeting they are. Still, even the best of us can get surprised.
Yesterday I was out walking the dogs with the kids (to see what that looks like click here. Imagine dark, snow, cold, two dogs, a double stroller and a three-year old in a pear tree.) As usual we were looking at all the wonderful Christmas lights along the way.
At the end of the street we came upon a very large pine tree that had lights going all the way to the top of it. I said to Sawyer, “wow, look at that big tree, I wonder how they got the lights way up there.” Before I had even finished my sentence I could hear his little voice in my head saying “I don’t know Mommy” to which I would reply “must be magic” or something along those lines.
But before I could finish my imaginary conversation he said “it’s easy Mommy, you just get a really big ladder”. I was shocked. He was right. And then, as I was snapped awake attempting to comprehend that my little guy isn’t so little anymore he continued on. “They have steps and you just take one step at a time until you get to the top.”
Bam. Mind officially blown.
I know it may not seem like a big deal, especially for those of you who have kids older than I do and have gone through this before. Not only was I underestimating the capabilities of a three-year old, I was underestimating the capabilities of my own son.
Ironically, I find I tend to swing towards the other way. I am always giving him more licence and treating him like he is older than he is, partly because I am that kind of mom, and partly out of necessity since I have two actual babies who still depend on me. I think it has really benefitted him to be allowed to try things on his own, and grow and learn from his mistakes. I hope I can be that way with the girls as well.
Finally by the end of the night it was time for bed. Since Sawyer helped me clean up after we put the girls down I let him stay up an extra half hour to watch a Christmas episode of the Simpsons (sorry daddy, I promise we are sticking to bedtime). When we got upstairs I went to use the washroom, and I told him to go pick out his pajamas. When I came out of the washroom his door was shut. “Uh oh, what’s mischief has he gotten into now” I thought.
I knocked on the door and he opened it. For the first time ever he had undressed and put on his pajamas all by himself! “See Mommy, I did it all by myself”. And these were not just any PJs, they were his really tight, close-fitting ones that even I have some trouble getting him into. I was so proud. I told him what a great job he did and grabbed him and hugged him and kissed him.
It’s amazing how the smallest things can sometimes actually be the biggest. The joy in my heart that came from watching him just be was just as great as the joy that comes from the “big” moments. As if I didn’t know it before, my kids are growing up right before my eyes, and I realized that as they grow, I have to grow too. Your kids don’t just learn from you, you learn from them. Enjoy every moment you can, because one day you won’t believe how they flew by.
I love my kids.
- I am making a pledge to hug my children
- Top 10: Reasons I Love Having More Than One Child
- What Do You Do When You Have It All?