Tonite is one of those nights when I'm overwhelmed with how quickly my children are growing up. As new mothers (or fathers) we were all told something to the effect of "Before you know it they'll be grown - it'll pass so much quicker than you can imagine" and at the time I remember thinking - well duh - of course it does, but not *really* fully *getting* it.
clock a little, but apparently that isn't allowed ;) Much as I try - lots of quiet time at home - no overscheduled kids here - and still each hour, each day disappears in a blink.
One day I hope that my children will look back on their childhood and remember love. Feeling loved, and understood. My oldest told me recently how much she appreciates me - and that she realizes how lucky she is to be so close to her mama. Most of her friends aren't at all close to their parents. They don't share anything with them. Her friends are often shocked at how much she shares with me - and yet while she does go out and try out the same things in many cases, I'm struck by how much thought she puts into her choices. How she comes to me and asks me what I think - knowing that for the most part she can count on me to be calm and give her straight answers. Then she makes the choice that feels right to her and is constantly checking in with herself. She has quite a bit more freedom than most of her peers, and yet free or no - those kids all do the things their parents are so frightened of - but they don't tell them. They hide it. And so instead of making well thought out decisions they dive in head first without much thought. Fascinating stuff really - without much to rebel against there is plenty of time to stop and think about how she really feels, and what *she* wants and needs.
They say that the toddler years are similar to the teen years - and I think in some ways that is true. They are trying to learn how to walk in this world. If we constantly hover over them not letting them venture out then they won't learn balance. Kids, babies, teenagers - they all need to stumble and teeter - that is how we find balance. We can't protect them from everything, but we can maintain open communication. We can be there always with a hand when needed, an ear, a boost. A trusted advisor.
In the end it doesn't matter how much we love them. It matters how much they feel loved. I don't know if my kids always feel loved. That's the honest answer, but it's my priority. I'm human. I do my best. I make mistakes. At the end of the day tho I gauge where I'm at with my children by the look in their eyes. If we've disconnected. I reconnect. I read so many books trying to find the right way to parent, and yet it really is that simple.
Do they feel loved?