Train up a child in the way he should go… (Proverbs 22:6)
And go they are going.
I’ve spent more time than usual with the kids in the past few weeks. We had a long Memorial Day weekend together at the ranch followed by a long weekend at my dad’s in Oklahoma. Four and a half year old triplets are a heck of a lot of fun. But being with them for six of the past nine days made me realize how quickly they are growing up too.
The baby words are far fewer though remnants remain and each misplaced syllable I treasure knowing it’s soon to be extinct.
They are fiercely capable of setting out on their own in ways they’ve not previously ventured. The boys helped daddy and grandfather work cows. Two of the three swam a lap in the pool. One asked for his training wheels off his bicycle.
We hadn’t been to Oklahoma in a year, so the comments on the changes stopped me in my tracks. We’ve been moving at such a fast pace this year that the slowed pace of the past few days made me take stock of how quickly it all flies by.
As I worked to fix my dad’s digital picture frame, I scanned through the SD card filled with the past four years of photos.
From this to this:
I am grateful for the singing in the back seat. I am grateful that they still want to be picked up and want to cuddle during bedtime visits. I love the mixing of verb tenses and still being labeled mommy and daddy. I love that when I kiss their cheeks when they sleep their hand still reflexes like it did when they were infants. I listen to the chatter in the hallway and tear up that their favorite thing is still spending time with us, “I wish mommy and daddy got out of work for the summer too.”
My favorite pastime is trying to remember all the funny stories. How the eldest’s preaching the miracle of Blind Bartimaeus got turned into the youngest’s rendition of “Who turned out the lights?” How little lady still says lellow instead of yellow and constantly reenacts (very dramatically) singing Let it Go from Frozen.
And then you get an email from your preschool teacher that starts off with, “This is a first for me. Today, I was asking questions about body parts…” (Are you a mother? Have you ever met a child? If you answered yes to either one of those questions, then you probably stopped breathing too…) She continues writing that after she was asking the children about various body parts, she asks, “What is one part of our body that is under our neck?” Some answers to the question were tummy, body, etc. My little man is quietly taking it all in then responds, “Mrs. R, don’t you know that it’s your breasts and you wear a bra!” Ah yes. My child.
I write less and less about them here because I know as they grow I will need to stop altogether. But when I started writing this blog almost four years ago, it was purely an outlet for me to capture all the baby book memories that were fading away. I looked back on some of those older posts, just like I scanned the SD card, and saw memories of their early one year old development, surviving a week without our nanny, the infamous poop smear story that the kids still retell, and so much more.
Oh those days were hard. But even as it all gets remarkably easier, I’m sad to see those toddler days go.