Last night, while brushing my teeth, I had this realization that Lily won't always want me to pick her up. And, even worse, at some point I won't be able to pick her up! I am not sure why I was thinking about this, but earlier that day she was doing her "Mama! Up! Up!" and it hit me that she won't want up forever. Talk about a ton of bricks.
Maybe it's because she's turning 2 and suddenly she isn't so toddler-ish anymore. In some ways, she still seems so young, but in other ways she seems like such a big girl. Like when she says "please" and "thank-you", or when Jack is crying and she says, "It's ok, Jack!" It's like she knows how to try and make him feel better.
I don't think there is any way to prepare you for your kids growing up. Part of me is sad that she won't be little forever. She won't be that smushy baby that she once was. But then, I think about growing up. I think about her learning to swim, and starting school, and playing sports (or dancing or whatever she wants to do), and learning to read, and all of the fun, exciting things that growing up entails. Then I realize, maybe that's why you are kid longer than you are a baby. You have so many fun things to do and experience and learn. And that part of growing up takes time.
I know, in time, Jack's baby-ness will fade, too. He will become a big(ger) boy. He will say, "up, mama, up!", but it won't last forever. So, for right now, I will snuggle him close and hold onto his baby-ness. I will soak in his brand new smells, and tickle his tiny toes. I will engrave every inch of his tiny little self in my mind.
As for Lily, I will indulge her in her "up, mama!" I will rock her to sleep, and read her books, and laugh at her silly faces. I am so glad that I have years to watch my children grow. I hope they can have long, healthy, fun childhoods. These days, it seems kids grow up so fast. I want Lily and Jack to hold onto childhood for as long as they can. To remain innocent. To remain curious. To remain children.
They say the best days of your life are high school or college or...but I think the best days are those carefree days of childhood. I hope Lily and Jack soak all of their childhood up. As their mama, I know I will.