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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

No longer waiting to exhale.

Written by Em

With all due respect to Oprah (well, not really - lately, girlfriend has been sitting on my last nerve) I had an incredible "ah ha" day this past weekend.

It all began with a little impromptu driveway playtime with our neighbors. Sweat-headed Youngest (3) stumbled over to the chatting adults and requested his sippy. I politely gave him the usual response "one minute, baby." He then ran back to join the fun. I proceeded to get caught up in grown-up talk and completely forgot.

Nice mama.

About 10 minutes later I look over and Youngest is chugging out of his Precious. What the hey?

Turns out Oldest (6) ran inside and got waters for both of them.

I swear to you the clouds parted and angels sang. I'm pretty sure I wept.

Oldest is a helper, a doer, a pleaser, but an initiator? This is a new slice of personality that I find fascinating. Not to mention somewhat freeing.

Later, my brother and his family came over for a little pool action. My sweet SIL is just days away from having their fourth and final (!?) child. I'm running around, trying to get hotdogs on the grill and cupcakes iced, when I look over and see Oldest washing an apple.

I decide to observe from the fringe.

He digs out a plate. Said apple is placed on the plate, along with two handfuls of blueberries and a couple slices of watermelon. He then heads to the outside table, and starts to eat his lunch.

Harps, people. I am talking full-on Alleluia Choir.

There are so many aspects of being a mom that I adore, but if kids could pop out of the womb, say maybe at, at least three years old (ouch, right?), I would have a baker's dozen of these little suckers. Already binkie weaned, sleep trained and house broken? How awesome would that be?!

Then again, if Hubs and I hadn't waded through the all-encompassing, completely dependent early years, could we be so happily embracing the next stage of life? The stage where we have "kids," not newborns, babies, toddlers, but brilliant, absorbing, reflecting, participating little human beings?

As my brother loaded all his beautiful children (b/g four-year-old twins and two-year-old daughter) into their minivan, I watched SIL try to get comfortable in the passenger seat. My newest little nephew will be here soon, and I can't wait.

But hell if I won't be skipping down the sidewalk as I leave that baby in his own Mama's arms.

I know this time is fleeting - the magical years where the Boys still kind of need me, yet move further out on to their own planetary orbit. And sadly, I'm fairly certain the Sippy Years will become quite sentimental when Tween Hormones rage.

But for now, I'm taking a very long, deep, cleansing breath after holding it in for way too long.

Bring on the fun!


  1. Oh got it right.

    I have an oldest child who is a helper. She sees what needs to be done, and uses all the 9 year old wisdom she can muster to help the situation.

    And it IS nice to hand those sweet babies back to their mamas, isn't it?

    Great post!!!!

  2. Oh I LOVE it when J gets his own drinks and snacks. HEAVENLY! And I precious babies back is the best.

  3. That is great to hear that there IS a light at the end if the tunnel! I have a 6 month olod boy who I was THRILLED that he learned to hold his own bottle. He is at the "bored all the time so entertain me" phase right now and making me a little nutty since there is an abrupt end to my knowledge of games to play with a 6 month old baby!

  4. what a sweet, independent big bro!

    yes, there is definitely just enough torture at the end of each stage to help us look forward to/enjoy the next. i have to honestly say, i don't miss the sippy years, but i DO wish i had enjoyed them more at the time.

    you do such a great job of savoring the moment, lil' mama.

  5. Ah, wait til you can call them from the next room and have them come into the room where you are reclining and have them retrieve the remote control for you.

    So I've heard. Not that I've ever done this. *wink*

  6. Gotta love the little helpers. I think I might have one, but I'm not sure yet.

  7. Totally there with you. I am so loving the age of 4 and from the sounds of it, it is just going to keep getting better.

  8. You're such a glass is half full kinda person. I,on the other hand - when presented with such independent helping and kindness from the older one - would be waiting for the 'kissing-up' half of the glass to empty out. In my house - there is always tit for tat.

  9. Em - this was inspirational for me as I picked up the entire house today asking myself ... will I be doing this by myself for the rest of my life? Will my kids EVER learn to pick up after themselves?

    Your post gives me hope.

  10. wow! And,, he's health conscious too! Fruit for lunch...even I am not so disciplined...ok, I'm just NOT disciplined!!
    I know what you mean! My 5 year old is semi-independent now and I'm so thrilled when he helps me out with his younger brother!!

  11. I'm in the hormone stage and it's not so fun when they're annoying the crap out with each other.

    But, for me the good part is that they make their own plans, brush their own teeth and go to bed with no problem.

  12. Oh, Em! I could not agree with you MORE!

  13. EM- you made me get teary eyed hon! My peanut has been wanting to do things herself latley and like you said it is kind a refreshing. As for Oprah, dude, when I do catch her show latly, I have to turn the channel right away. (and this coming from a gal who only has 2 channels) Rock On' Chica!

  14. When my almost 7 year old started trying to get herself something to drink from the fridge around 6 months ago, I was all "WHAT do you think you are doing???"

    It's like I couldn't get out of the feeling that I was supposed to be the one doing every little thing for all three of my kids. When she started asserting her independence in helping herself, it was like a personal assault on my I was losing one aspect of control and I was all HUH?

    But then I gave myself a swift kick in the ass, opened my eyes to the beauty of it all, let out that deep breath and was like "Okay. This can actually be a very beautiful thing."

    And you know what? It is a beautiful thing. Now I just need it to happen MOST of the time instead of RARELY. :-)


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