I feel pressure to unpack what's left of the brown boxes. It takes so much time. Right now I am working on the baby's room and at the same time I unpack, I also am packing away tiny clothes, tiny baby clothes that all three of my boys have worn. Every time I do so, it feels so strange. How do these moments, days and years fly by? I arranged all the white baby shoes from smallest to largest, and right there in front of me, glaring at me, is a timeline of small steps. So many changes happen within the first two years of life. Many are so physical, it's hard not to focus on those as if those are the most prominent in childhood.
When I look at each of my boys, I see so much changing. Not just physical, but emotional and some challenging. Each stage has its own ups and downs for both the child and the parent. Sleep mixed with food allergies was something that was challenging for all when my boys were babies, but it was also the time of baby and toddler bliss, cuddles and milestone firsts. Preschool age included first days of school away from mom, it brought about whining and tantrums, but it was full of adorable little conversations and questions about everything. It was the time when my boys started to enjoy "helping mommy and daddy" in the kitchen and garden, sleepovers at Grandma's house and excitement over teeny tiny small stuff. It was also the time when my house was no longer silent. There were voices going strong all day long.
School age has brought about independence, personality, engaging conversations and a case of the funnies. They are completely silly, and have developed really good sense of humors. My boys have developed specific hobbies and interests, insight into bigger cultural issues and a strong sense of faith. The wonder that struck them in the preschool ages, has developed into something much deeper, making us all take note. This has also been an emotional stage. Where feelings get hurt easily, and "rules" are taking shape. They fight with each other, argue and are more physical. School friendships are forefront and reinforced feelings of security at home are needed. It is a time to start teaching them life skills. They can sense when something is wrong and have strong empathetic feelings. They watch out for each other and our entire family unit, trusting their instincts.
The only thing my husband and I can do is continue to document the small moments of each small step, and most importantly to just be in the moment, connected and engaged with each of our children.