This summer has brought a number of changes. Schedules always change. There are more late nights, staying up swimming, catching fireflies and gettning snow cones. Mornings are spent sleeping in and lolligagging in jammies and watching old TV shows. The weather changes. This year has been different. Over 100 degrees for the entire month of July with no relief in sight.
There also have been changes in what we do as a family. Used to be that we could just bring out a big bin of building blocks or play doh and that would entertain for hours. Now, play doh brings some entertainment for little girls, but not so much for my growing boys. Sure, they will play with it but they would much rather be out swimming, playing basketball, video games or having buddies over.
Gone are the days of Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder and playing power rangers. Gone are the days of feety jammies and waiting by the window for the train to go by. Gone are the fire trucks and dinosaur shirts. In are the athletic shorts, nike shoes and deoderant.
I miss those dinosaur shirts. I miss the smell of Johnson’s Baby shampoo and sippy cups. I miss the paci’s and the desitin. I miss the hours of building train tracks and looking in the rearview mirror at a sleepy thumb sucker.
The view has changed. I now look in the back and see a boy texting his friends or asking me to turn up the song he loves. I listen to my girls playing together, but older games with their dolls. I watch my kids perform onstage like they are adults. I watch my oldest son kick field goals like he is a pro. We have survived our first break up and broken heart.
Parenting, I have found is not a straight road. Nor does it have one set speed limit. When the kids were babies, I remember feeling that the speed limit was a snails pace. The nights seemed forever. The sleeplessness and diaper changed seemed endless. All of a sudden though, it feels as if I am on the autobahn going a gazillion miles an hour.
While I miss dinosaur shirts and the smell of Dreft, I have to be honest in saying I am enjoying this phase of parenting in a much deeper way. I feel as though I know my kids better. I see their hearts and I am excited to see where they are headed. And while looking at the sleeping baby in the carseat in the rearview mirror is a memory, I am enjoying the ride in a much more profound way. Even if we are barreling towards adulthood.