Listen to Your Elders

Things I miss from when my first 3 were little:
1. Giving them all a bath at the same time, and putting them to bed early to enjoy time to myself or with Jeff.
2. Wondering how to fill the day, instead of wondering how to accomplish everything I need to do in one day.
3. Long walks and stroller rides to the park.
4. Never really HAVING to be someplace at a certain time...I was in complete control of my schedule.
5. Choosing their cute clothes with absolutely no input from them.
6. Knowing I'd have time to myself each day when Jeff got home...no baseball games, track practice etc. Time to recharge.
7. When I said no, they almost always listened and almost never argued.

Of course, back then I thought it was so hard. Mothers with teenagers told me it would change and that I was in the easy years.

I feel like it is wrong to say that I'd love to wave a wand and have them shrink back down, but I do feel like that. Not that I don't love them the way they are now, changing and growing and learning, and not that there aren't so many great things about these "middle" ages, but I am, at heart, a control freak, and with each step upward, I lose a tiny bit of control. It makes me nervous and doubtful and plain scared.

Isaac is 14 now, and more than ever, watching and learning from every decision we make with him. He is a really, really good, nice, happy kid and I know he will remain so forever. Will he always use his head and do what's right, even if that means giving up some friends and fun?

Abbey is growing up so fast and I am not ready for that at all. I always thought we would never go through a phase were she didn't think I was right about everything. Well, I see some signs that it won't happen that way. Will I know when to guide her and what to say about the hard stuff? Will she still like me enough to listen to me?

Matthew is so quiet and keeps things inside...just like I do. I hope he opens up to me about things that happen in school and doubts and insecurities he has. I hope I stop and listen.

And of course, Andrew and Patrick are still in that "little ones" category....and I'm appreciating every moment of this "easy" age, although it's not as slow and dependable as it was with the first three. I may not be able to still do everything on that list now (quiet time in the evenings...can't make a 14 year-old go to bed at 8), but I still want to remember to fit into my busy days the things I can.

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