This year my wonderful husband and I will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. Last night we experienced a much-needed ‘date’ night. Our four children were spending the night with my older sister and brother-in-law, and my youngest nephew. They had been looking forward to this visit for at least two weeks, and trust me when I say, they were dropped off, and did not look back! 😀 When I woke up this morning and realized that they had not called to say goodnight, and neither did we, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. Oh, I knew they were having crazy fun. I had heard an update that involved a bonfire, sloppy joe, Oreo’s and Chips Ahoy, all topped off by Uncle Carl’s legendary Root beer Floats! (Kayla insists that NOBODY makes them better!) I imagined an all-nighter with lots of laughter, couple with a fair share of disagreements surrounding whatever video game that was being played. But we hadn’t said goodnight. As a matter of fact, I had not heard either of their voices in almost 18 hours!!!! So, I called. 😀
When I spoke to Kayla, our oldest, she was washing dishes…and sounded pleasant..(why do we enjoy chores at someones elses home more than we do at our own?) We talked for a few minutes…just long enough to give me the run down on the evenings events and to tell me that she had no idea where her little sister was. She knew she was there…somewhere. I felt better. And then Leah, our youngest, called her mom! And I smiled….. She’s a big girl, but she sounded so little on the phone. It’s funny, they seem so mature at home. and we interact with them, sometimes, as if they are so much older than they are. But then they go away, and we hear their voices, and perspective is altered.
To some of you, I may sound a little weird. My kids are not babies anymore. In the picture above, Leah was 2, Jordan was 4, Isaiah was 6, and Kayla was 7. That was 10 years ago!!! But they are still my babies. With homeschooling, I feel like I’m with them at all times, and for the most part I am. And sometimes we just need a little space or distance. Not because we don’t like each other or need a ‘break’ from each other, but so that our perspective can be readjusted. That’s what happens with a simple over-nighter. I see them more clearly. I appreciate their humor and their little idiosyncracies. And I miss them. We have such a small amount of time with them before they are gone and living the lives that, hopefully, we prepared them for. I truly want as much time with them as i can get. We are winding up our ninth year of homeschooling and I still have at least 20 years worth of stuff I want to teach them! But they’re not babies anymore …and no more am I aware of that than I am when they go away from home, even for one night, and call home! Kayla will soon be a licensed driver soon. Isaiah will be a JUNIOR in highschool next year!!!! Jordan will be a freshman in highschool next year. And my Leah will be officially JUST ONE YEAR away from being a TEENAGER!!! And they did not call to say goodnight. And I just got word from my sister that it’s looking like they want to stay another night!! Through all of this, you may be wondering why I experienced any distress about this at all? Obviously they are in great hands, right? I mean, who better to pinch hit for us than my sister and brother-in-law? And the kids are obviously having fun and doing well. So what’s the problem? MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! You’re absolutely correct!!!! THEY are just fine! But, I miss my babies. And I realize that no matter how old or big they are, they will always be my babies! Kayla will always be my first baby, Isaiah will always be my first baby boy (9lbs 2oz – 6’1 220lbs at 15), Jordan will always be my baby boy (who brought a smile to my heart after the passing of my dad just 2 months prior to his birth), and Leah will always be my last baby (the one not born of my womb but of my heart). And I love spending time with them. They are hilarious and irritating and brilliant and infuriating!!!!! ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!! And they will always be my babies.
So, while my husband is outside replacing the brakes on the car, and my kids are away, possibly for another night, I am sharing my heart with all (or just a few) of you. I am smiling as I write this. Life has so many unforseen things in store for us. In the last 2 weeks two women who I know have buried their sons. Neither one of them saw it coming. I may sound a little strange as I ramble on, but I encourage you to spend as much time with your children as possible. Are there any moms out there that understand or agree??? Maybe you have the desire to spend more time, but the demands of life won’t stop pulling at you long enough for you to be able to. Either way, wherever you find yourself, I would LOVE to hear from you!