Sweet Child, Never Change.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I truly struggled with the toddler and early childhood years of parenthood. Infancy? I had it under control. Babies are just so dang cute. I was completely enamored by every tiny sigh, every giggle, every side-eye glare.
But then toddlerhood and early childhood … As an educator, I purposely stuck to middle and high school students because I get those kids. I know how to handle them, how to negotiate, how to convince them that I know what I’m talking about.
But, three-year-olds? Five year old’s? No thanks. But as a parent, you don’t have the luxury of dipping out when you don’t know how to manage it. You have to figure it out. So, I did. And I wasn’t horrible at it. But it was tough and my worst moments of parenting came in those four or five years.
Last night, though, I realized that we are transitioning to the next stage of childhood. We are beginning the stages I am most excited about. As I tucked N into bed, she told me she wasn’t ready to go to sleep. “Do you think we can talk for a little while?” She asked.
Now, typically, it’s “can you sing me a song?” “Can you read me a book?” “Can you tell me a story?” And while I adore my daughter and would throw myself in front of a car for her, I can’t do the bedtime stuff. The songs. The stories. I just can’t. It is perhaps the most painful part of parenting. But last night, she wanted to talk, and suddenly, there was no where else in the world I wanted to be.
These moments are fleeting. They told me that about those younger years I am so thankful are behind us. But these moments, when your 8yo wants to talk, these are the moments that lay the foundation for the next 10 years. I would have been willing to lie in that bed next to her talking for hours if she wanted to last night – and any night from now until the day she has her own kids.
Because these are the years I know what to do with. These are the years I’ve dreamed about. I hope that three years from now, 8 years from now, she will still want to talk. She will still think that I have good advice.
In fact, when I thanked her for letting me hang out with her and chat for a little bit, she said, “mama, you teach me so much … I’m always going to want to talk.”
Oh sweet child, I hope so.
Until next time,
Create peace in your world,