Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since I checked in with y’all. My sweet baby girl is 3 weeks old now. She’s opening her eyes these days, and though I can’t tell yet what color they will be (green, possibly?), I can say with confidence that they melt my heart on a daily basis.
Due to some weight gain concerns at the two-week mark, I’ve been spending most of my waking (and even some of my sleeping) hours providing nourishment for this little girl. It’s been a sweet time of bonding. The only downside to having one’s arms always full of baby is that it leaves little time or energy for writing. Hence the marathon catch-up today.
We had not one but TWO birthdays in our family this past week. Spring is a busy season for our family. And May is our busiest month! Our little Pumpkin turned 2 last weekend, and this past week, Huckleberry hit the milestone age of 7! I have to confess, both these ages leave my mama heart a little battered. My baby boy is now firmly into toddler territory, meanwhile my erstwhile kindergartener is a tooth-wiggling grade schooler with one foot firmly over the threshold that leads (somehow and all too fast) to manhood.
I can see the difference. In my 7-year-old, I see virtues beginning to sprout where once there was only the raw stuff of need and tantrum. In my 2-year-old, the vestiges of babyhood are daily shed in the learning of new words, the mastering of skills, the fearlessness of explorations previously unthinkable to his little mind. It strikes me fresh how very fleeting it all is.
I think this is what I love best about parenting multiple ages all at once. Exhausting and challenging as it can be, there is grace in nestling my newborn, belly-laughing at my toddler, discipling my shrieking preschooler, opening my arms as my upcoming first grader rushes toward and adventure and closing those arms again in a tight hug to comfort the heart of a burgeoning 9-year-old who needs the occasional reminder that growing up is a good thing. For her, and for her mama.
So there was cake. And cake, and there were candles. More candles this year than the last. There were boys with trucks and excavators and brand-new favorites and baby dolls. Today, there are board games and gurgles and never enough sleep and arms full to bursting–though still nowhere as full as our overflowing hearts. There is a mother who is tired, a little tattered, and infinitely thankful for some time to sit back with a babe in arms, cherishing this life, and then sitting down to put it into words so she can share a little bit of all this love with you.