Toasting to a life beyond the baby years


As I scroll through Instagram or Facebook, so often I read comments from loving moms stating, “I wish I could freeze time,” or “Can he just stay this little forever?”

Yes, those baby snuggles and the intoxicating newborn smell can cast a spell on almost any woman with ovaries. But as a mom of three growing kids, I’m delighted to see my own crazy crew keep moving on up in age. So long baby and toddler years. It was nice knowing yah. If that sounds like I’m a little heartless and cold, let me tell you what’s to come.

These past few months have felt like we’re finally transitioning into a new era – one where we can rationalize with our kids (generally), count on them to help out a little around the house and we’ve started to see unique personalities and interests emerge.

For the first time this summer, my husband and I did not need to suit up and hit the hotel pool armed with floaties. We were actually able to sit in lounge chairs, sip a few cocktails and watch our kids splash from a distance. I’m not going to lie. We were in heaven. For reals.

In June, I wrote my last painfully large preschool tuition check. For 10 years, I had been sending at least one child to that school. Of course it was worth every financial sacrifice. Still, as much as I’ll miss attending those adorable open houses and seeing sweet art projects that only a preschooler can produce, I was ready to move on after a decade of Montessori life.

When we enrolled in this year’s summer reading program at the library, all three of my kids could register as independent readers. Yes, my daughter and I still read almost daily together, but she is able to read solo now too. Hooray! We finally packed away the baby books, the cloth books, the books with ABC’s. Those titles were all sweet, but I’m loving the new world of chapter books and Junie B. Jones and Fancy Nancy. My older kids are powering through Harry Potter and the Divergent series – we can actually share conversations about the characters and plot.

Each day I see my kids master new tasks and talents. My five-year-old can tie her shoes. My 12-year-old can make turkey tacos. My 9-year-old can juggle a soccer ball 100-plus times in a row. They are learning how to play instruments – and it actually sounds like they are making music, not just noise.

They are navigating the sometimes complex world of friendships.

They are realizing they have many things to be grateful for in this world – and every so often giving back. One of my boys has started to donate his own money in the church basket, and the other is volunteering through various scout projects on a regular basis.

Oh, and did I forget to mention they sleep in on the weekends? And if they wake up early, they can make themselves breakfast.

So farewell baby blankets and working around mid-day naps. Bye-bye preschool drop-offs. Adios forced pool time and velcro shoes. We enjoyed our time together and you helped me grow as a mom, but it’s time we moved on.

The teen years are just around the corner – and perhaps then I’ll be begging for my cherub-faced babes of yesterday. But for now, I am loving each day and seeing my kids grow. Who wants to freeze time when there are so many exciting adventures ahead?

I’m toasting to this new kid-era. Strawberry daiquiri anyone?