Thursday, April 3, 2014

10 Signs That Your Kids Are Growing Up

Every once in a while I will be going along, minding my own business, living life as usual, when I look up and realize the world around me has changed ever so slightly. I can't always put my finger on it right away, but eventually I come to the same conclusion every time. Oh my gosh, my kids are getting so big in so many ways. I've had several of those moments in the last few weeks, and it's caused me to think about all of the ways my kiddos have gotten so big. Sigh….

I started compiling a list - a list of ways I could see them growing. At first it made me kind of sad, but mostly, it made me smile. :)

All my Robert babies…oh how the years go by….

You know your kids are growing up when….

1. Your children can wake up slightly before you do, and you don't worry about the house burning down.

Oh, the liberation! Hallelujah! I make no bones about the fact that I am not a morning person - never have been, never will be. I can barely function in the first hour that my eyelids are open. In the past, this meant that I was mostly a walking zombie for the first part of the day. Kids are up, mom is up. But...ah…not any more. My girls can get up, watch cartoons, even "make breakfast" for themselves while mom rests just a few minutes longer. (And really, I mean just a few. But it's a few minutes of Heaven!) The other day I came into the living room and Evie was making pb&j's while Gracie stood on a chair at the sink washing dishes. Thought I entered the Twilight Zone. I knew then that things were a-changing around here.

2. Your kids start asking questions you don't know the answers to.

Our children have grown up in church and in a home where things like faith and philosophies are often discussed just for kicks. We're used to some of the "big" God questions and things like that. But what about questions like, "Are baby animals born with teeth, or do their teeth grow in like humans?" Oh, uh, er, hmmm…you know…I don't know! I'll have to look that one up for you! Thank goodness for Google. What did parents do before the internet?

3. They will start holding YOU accountable to daily tasks.

Kids are all about routines, and eventually they get old enough to notice when mom or dad might be taking a shortcut. (The stinkers!) In no area of our lives is this truer than the bedtime routine. When Eric is gone, I have three kids to put to bed by myself. I brush all of their teeth, we say prayers, do all of the kissing stuff that daddy usually does…then the lights go out.

"Uh, mom. We didn't floss."

"It's okay guys. Just for tonight."

"Mom, we didn't do our berry rinse, either."

"Yeah…I know…it'll be fine. Just go to bed."

"And mom, we didn't read the Jesus Storybook Bible."

"Girls, your brother is crying…."

"You forgot to say, 'Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite…."

This goes on for five minutes. Haha. Don't you dare skip things in a kid's routine. They will

4. You are way more amazed by technology than your children are.

If you're anywhere near my age, you might remember a time when you took computer classes in school to learn all of the new-fangled technology. Not everyone had home computers back in the day, after all. Now, I'm pretty sure babies come out of the womb with the ability to type and text. That might be exaggerating, but only slightly. If you currently have a kid, you know how instinctively they pick up a new gadget and start operating it. It's…bizarre. While Eric and I marvel at technology every time something new is introduced, our kids just shrug and use it. No biggie. Thanks for catching up, world. Excuse me while I write some code or something. 

5. Your daughter analyzes which boys in her class would make great boyfriend material.

Yes. This happened. I don't think I wan't to talk about it.

6. You can officially free them from your leash.

Wooho! Okay. So, I have always tried really hard not to be a "helicopter parent." I like to keep an eye on my kids, but I try to keep a bit of distance and let them roam, too. Up until recently, there was only so much waiting on the sidelines I could do, though. I mean…toddlers are toddlers, and I'd rather not spend every day in the emergency room, haha. But then one day I looked up and realized…my kids can play outside without me…I can talk to someone over here, while my child is over there…wow, I haven't seen Gracie in twenty minutes, and she's still alive!

It's wonderful.

7. They have their own preferences and are well aware of everyone else's. 

Favorites. Everyone has them. And kids obsess over them - or at least mine do! "What's your favorite color? Who is your favorite princess? What's your favorite food?" I get asked these questions a million times a day. They know the answers, but they still ask.

Evelyn's favorite color happens to be orange, while Gracie's favorite color is blue. I will never forget the day those two truly bonded as sisters over their favorites. Grace came running into the room after bath time, draped in a towel and waving something bright orange above her head.

"Look what I got for you, Evelyn!! Look what I found!!"

It was a pair of neon orange underwear. And you would have thought those girls struck gold. Evelyn squealed with delight. "Orange underwear??!" She immediately ran to the bedroom and came out with a huge grin and a pair of blue underwear for her sister.

"You found blue? For me?!"

The girls embraced.

It was equal parts hysterical, touching, and so so strange at the same time.

8. Your kids suddenly know things that you obviously did not teach them.

Things like…"I think that was around during the crustaceous period." Oh really? You don't say? Evelyn seriously said this to me yesterday. Just what are they teaching her in that preschool? Sign me up!

9. Their ability to embarrass you in public goes up by about 1000%

I'm not sure that this one really needs much explaining. Kids have two big ears and one small mouth that goes about a mile a minute. Nothing you say in your own home is sacred anymore. Nothing.

Also, I have refrained thus far from giving my children ALL of the proper names for body parts. They don't need that kind of ammo in their arsenal.


10. You already wish you could go back for a day…just one day…and hold them when they were a tiny baby.

Yep. And it makes me ache…makes me ache so bad. When my kids were infants I would dream about the types of little people they would become. I wondered about their personality…what their favorites would be…what they were thinking. Now I know, and armed with that knowledge I wish I could go back and just appreciate them for being small. If I feel this way now, only a few years later, I can't even imagine how much more this mama's heart will ache in the future.

But I'm super glad my babies are growing up. I so appreciate the freedom we're slowly gaining back. I love hearing what they have to say. There is still so much to look forward to. So on the days that I'm looking through baby pictures and tearing up at what once was, I can't help but smile at the thought of what is yet to come. Getting older certainly comes with growing pains, but in the end, it isn't so bad. If only we can remember to appreciate each day. :)

"I walked over to the hill where we used to go and sled. There were a lot of little kids there. I watched them flying. Doing jumps and having races. And I thought that all those little kids are going to grow up someday. And all of those little kids are going to do the things we do. And they will all kiss someone someday. But for now, sledding is enough." Steven Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Thank goodness it's enough. Have a happy day, friends!


Heather said...

Awww I LOVE this!!! Especially number 5. And seriously, number 7...way too cute!

Cassie said...

so true!! lol.

Sara Simpson said...

love all of this!


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