In honor of Mother's Day on Sunday, my family and I pulled out the home movies. We hadn't watched them in a while, and the hours passed incredibly quickly as we viewed our children literally growing up before our eyes. The kids--now 5, 7, and 9--got such a kick out of seeing each other as babies and toddlers, while Kevin and I watched through a mixture of gladness and sadness. Turns out our parents (and their parents, and their parents . . . ) were right. They really do grow up so fast!
Mostly, though, we simply enjoyed reliving some precious memories and are thankful that they were captured on video. (What a remarkable thing to be able to do!) We got to relive the births of our babies (sans physical pain), reopen Christmas presents, laugh again at all the cute sayings and doings of our little ones, and provide plenty of "Awwws" and "Oh my goodnesses." Although we remember living most of these moments, we had forgotten how sweet and tender and innocent those moments and babies were. Hearing their little bitty voices caused our own to crack.
But mixed in with all the sweetness and "I miss those days" were also some moments of just enough reality (i.e. toddler temper tantrums, pee on the floor, bottles and baby food, spit-up, etc., etc.) to remind us that we're in a wonderful place now, too, and it's okay that those days are behind us. We loved them--no doubt about it--but they weren't easy. Having three children under the age of four is extremely tiring. We changed diapers every day for six and a half years.
Six and a half years.
Yes, I'm quite okay with the new stage we're in. We've traded baby books for homework and onesies for school uniforms. The teeth we were so thrilled to discover popping through their baby gums are now falling out and being replaced with bigger teeth. And now their words aren't so hard to understand. But it's still fun. And it's still an adventure. And they're still my babies.