Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Beyond the Baby Years

A distant memory -
two weeks into motherhood. 
I've been reflecting on the fact that I am completely out of the baby stage of my parenting journey. 3 pregnancies, 3 births, 3 babies. All in the past. Now I have children.

They grow so fast. Some mothers wish to keep them small, preserve time and precious moments. I don't. I hardly know any greater joy than watching them grow. Seeing them change, mature, develop. I am no longer laden with 3 clingy, dependent young children, but 3 interesting, inspiring people.

Nature Girl, fast approaching her 8th birthday, is curious, clever, imaginative, playful, free-spirited. She knows the path she wants to follow in life (animal rescuer of some sort), reads to learn and be inspired. She writes beautiful stories, draws stunning pictures and asks questions about everything. She cares so much about creatures big and small that she cries at the sight of a squished spider and move worms off the sidewalk to protect them from passing feet. Her baby face is long gone and her fine, graceful features foreshadow a beauty that will have the boys sighing far too soon.

Sweet Rose
Sweet Rose, smack in the middle of her 7th year on earth can push my buttons like only one other person can - her papa! Shy, yet confident, she doesn't hesitate to tell you what she wants and she damn well expects to get it. She's crafty and simply loves to make things. Her creations are gifts full of love and soft sweetness. She's claimed herself an artist since age 3 and I am sure that she's right. Her mind is sharp, she's focused and neat. She seems so grown up sometimes, but she still wants her songs and cuddles every night. She looks like Snow White and will surely be a stunning woman. Yet, I'm certain she'll hardly give boys the time of day.

Then there were 3 (in just 4 1/2 years!)
The Boy. The one who will always be my baby. He's adorable, funny and dizzyingly energetic. At 3 1/2, he's just starting to show us who he really is. He counts to 20, recognizes as many numbers and most of his letters. He loves chocolate and treats and only sits still for a meal in restaurants. He's drawn his first recognizable pictures in the past few months and has started to recognize a few words. He learns so fast! He can tell you the name of every train on the island of Sodor, and happily, he'd rather read about them or play with them than watch it on TV. He's learned French from his papa and Spanish from Dora and Diego. I imagine he'll be a lot like my charming little brother when he's older - an absolute lady killer. He knocks me off my feet every day!

I love watching them grow. Experiencing their growth. I love conversations and mutual learning and respect. The older they get, the more I like them and like to be around them. The fact that my oldest can now serve the youngest breakfast on a Saturday morning rocks my world! I'm literally seeing the fruits of my labor and the results are delightful. I'm proud of my children and proud of my parenting.

I''m grateful for my family and to finally be beyond the baby years! What parenting stage are you at? Which have you loved the most (so far)?

Thanks to Brandi at Yee Wittle Things for the inspiration today!


  1. This could not have been posted at a better time. I'm torn as I watch my baby grow. He turns one on Saturday and I've found myself shedding tears I wasn't expecting. Time goes so fast. Often I wish I could pause life, but then I watch as he grows, and discovers, and learns, and the joy is indescribable.

    1. Happy 1 year anniversary as a mother! Just do your best to savor every moment and remember that for many of us, they get sweeter and sweeter! Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs!

  2. Your children are darling. They have such big, beautiful eyes! My two oldest children have left home leaving me with just my 15 year old daughter. It's a strange new phase of parenting that I'm not totally convinced I like. I miss them when they were young and at home and making me laugh. But, these days I'm getting more sleep so that's a plus...

    1. More sleep is a plus! I realized a couple of years ago that there will be no sleep for me until they are all out of the house! Are you enjoying new aspects of your relationships with your children now? I love being an adult with my mom - now we can be friends and we are!

  3. It really is amazing to watch the babies that we have nurtured, grow into little people and begin to reflect our years of parenting. Parenting is something to be proud of for sure and it's so awesome to learn and grow with them over the years. I must agree, I do NOT miss the tiring baby years lol, but I do certainly find that time has flown by when I was blinking some days! I love the ages of 3 and 5 that they're at right now and although I will enjoy watching them grow and change, and start families of their own, it's definitely bittersweet at times! lol. Love the pictures of your kids...so cute!! Glad my post could provide inspiration..hehe!

  4. Lovely post! I find it incredible that they all are such unique individuals already. It's beautiful that you see them as such too!

  5. I remember those days. Mine are now 8, 12 and 15. Each has a different aspect I love to be around. My oldest daughter is becoming a companion I can talk to and relate to and play disc golf with. My second daughter is coming into her own, giving me bits of her personality and taking things from her surroundings. The littlest girl is still my baby, loaded with questions and still in the piggy-back ride stage.

    I love them all, and I'm glad to see you appreciating what's happening before you with your kids! It only gets better.

    Nice post. I'll be back.

    1. Thanks, Coach E! I appreciate you sharing where you're at with your girls. It's lovely to hear a dad's perspective. I especially love when I read parents of teens who enjoy their teenagers.
      See (read) you again soon!

  6. Such a wonderful post Tamara. Could not agree with you more about watching them grow and change. It is so special. :) Stopping by from SITS Saturday Sharefest.-The Dose Girls


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