Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Baby, Growing Up

Every Tuesday at 4:30 during the school year, the boys enjoy Tales and Treats at our larger local library. A wonderful ex-teacher-turned-librarian runs it. She reads a great story, plans an active game around the theme, followed by a craft and a themed snack. My boys LOVE it! They count down the hours - especially Timmy.

Last year I found it very tedious to chase Emily Rose around the library while the boys enjoyed their adored class. Lasting as little as 60 minutes, or as long as 90, it ALWAYS felt like forever with Emily in tow. She felt the need to touch EVERYTHING, pull books off shelves, and run through the aisles. It was so NOT fun, from my perspective. I tried all manner of distracting, and had to keep scooping her up in the middle of her sprints. The girl learned to walk one week, and begin sprinting the next. The library aisles quickly become her favorite sprint spot.

It doesn't help that people stare....thinking you have no control. That makes me nervous. And, duh, with a young toddler, who has control? All you can do is deal, hoping at least one person is charmed by their cuteness. When people are charmed, they seem more forgiving of toddlerness. And then momma can relax, and enjoy her little bundle of, um, joy.

I used to notice another toddler there, a boy, content to sit lazily in his momma's lap, for a stack of books or knobby puzzles. Not Emily. The energizer bunny would have none of it.

Well, today was the first Tuesday class for this season, and I forced myself to sound all enthusiastic and bouncy, for the boys' sake. Inside, though, I was dreading it.

But wouldn't you know? Surprise! Something changed. And it was Emily. My baby girl has grown up. She didn't break out in a single run, didn't get all touchy, didn't pull a single book off the shelf. In fact, for the first THIRTY minutes, she sat next to me enjoying two large knobby puzzles - a farmed-themed one, and a zoo one. She loves animals, like all kids, and was thrilled to have these at her disposal. She's especially crazy over anything to do with farms; The Big Red Barn is currently her favorite book.

The next thirty minutes, she looked through the tubs of board books with me, and played with the book-themed stuffed animals.

I was in heaven with my little girl, one-on-one like this. It was a blessed hour!

But I had a weird feeling too. Kind of a longing for our nursing months, and for her babyhood, and for her adorable little sprint down the aisles.

I've never wanted my kids to grow up. It has always been painful to see their bodies fill up the bathtub more, to have to adjust the straps on their carseats, to notice the shirt that is suddenly too short in the arms. The letting go is hard. The raising up is hard, tedious, even maddening sometimes. But the letting go? That is torturous. I can't write about it without tears.

I guess it's a good thing I've got another one on board, currently bruising my cervix with her kicks. Another energizer bunny, to be sure. Thank you God, from the bottom of my heart.

1 comment:

Steph said...

Aw...nice post! It is hard to see them become so independent. My two have grown so much this summer I sometimes can't believe my eyes!