My four-month-old has started teething, just as my first born loses his first tooth. I see my baby next to my five-year-old and I think “everything they told me is true.”
It goes by so fast.
Snuggle them while you can.
Babies don’t keep.
There is my five-year-old is carrying his tooth around in a little glass jar for safe keeping, until he can place it under his pillow tonight. It’s one of those mind-blown, how-did-we-get-here things. I have a vivid memory of when that same tooth first came in. How was that not just yesterday?
When my husband was doing his family medicine rotation in PA school, his supervising physician told him, “the thing about kids is the older they get, the more fun they get.” At the time we had a three year old and a one year old. I listened to Alex relay this bit of wisdom to me with some skepticism. How could anything be more fun than watching these chubby little cuties toddling around the house?
But I’ve been thinking about this “the older they get the more fun they get” thing a lot lately, and I see that it too is true.
My big kids are old enough to tell me their thoughts, line up the kitchen chairs and pretend they are a school bus, develop their own unique clothing styles, ask questions about God and heaven, and put their dinner dishes in the dishwasher. And it’s really fun to see them do these things. When we pulled all the Christmas decorations out of the attic a couple weeks ago and set up the tree our older two were jumping up and down, clapping their hands and laughing with excitement because they remembered last Christmas and all the fun that accompanied it. I thought, “this is so much more fun than last year.” They are memorizing the words to Christmas carols are rote prayers, and learning to read, and it’s amazing!
And tonight, for the first time ever, my husband and I will get to play Tooth Fairy.
Today I am amazed by the passage of time. But I’m not grieved by it. I do want to savor these days when I can tuck a baby up under my chin, I think having older kids is helping me to do that better. But I know when that phase is over we will be on to another phase that may be a little less cozy, but is sure to be just as much fun
I may not be able to keep them little forever, but I do get to keep being their mom while they grow into amazing human beings.