Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Growing Up and Moving On

I've had so many moments lately where I'm just overwhelmed with how quickly the kids are growing up. It's kind of like I'll be going along, not paying attention, and then Father Time thunks me in the forehead with a hard flick (do you remember that from the 80s--when flicking each other in the forehead was cool? WTH was that all about, anyway?) and I realize that, even though I call them my "babies" frequently in conversation, there is absolutely nothing that is baby-like about them anymore.  Nothing at all.

Anderson wore shorts for the first time this season yesterday. Instead of his short baby-like legs, his legs are longer now, more grown. Even Amelia, with all of her tininess, has a body that is leaning towards that of a true 4-year-old.  Their cheeks--which have always been full, despite their small sizes--are thinning out, losing the soft curves and becoming more angular.

Their intellect is growing just as quickly.  They have real conversations with one another (although some of it is in "Anderson-ese", the 2nd language spoken in our house) and with us. Just tonight, Amelia very matter-of-factly informed me that squares have four sides, and triangles have three.  When I asked her how many sides a circle has (because I'm a teacher and I'm tricky like that!), she wrinkled up her forehead and said, "Um, it's just kind of round!"--like, duh, Mom.  Circles don't have sides.  They're starting to get the actual plot of movies and TV Shows.  They recognize when something happens that evokes strong emotions and can identify the emotions. I can't tell you how often I literally just sit back in awe of their development.  When they were in the NICU and under 3 pounds each, I would've never guessed that we would be sitting here today, discussing the kinds of things we are able to discuss.  When I say I take NONE of it for granted, I mean it. They amaze me.

For all of my amazement, though, there is a very large, very real part of me that is also just incredibly sad.  Infertility, the cruel witch that she is, robbed us of the opportunity to have more children. Amelia and Anderson are IT, and while I am eternally grateful--more grateful and blessed and fulfilled by them than I ever knew I'd be, even during the fertility treatment process--I am owning it: I am still a little bit bitter. Now, I know that in infertility circles, that statement is frowned upon. I used to frown upon it, too. In online support circles, a comment like that would get a dozen replies saying how ungrateful I am, that many women would give anything just to have ONE child.  Believe me, I get that. I WAS that woman.  But the fact that I was fortunate enough to have A & A doesn't negate the fact that I would love to have another child. Anderson and Amelia are enough--more than enough--I don't want it to sound like I need more than those two little miracles. I don't NEED more...we rarely do.  We just wish for more.  The hard part right now is that we are at the point where most first-time parents are finally feeling like they get the parenting thing, they can handle it and they're ready for another.  That's where we are...and it's not an option. It's just not financially possible, and with all of the latest "developments" in my health, even if we could afford it, I'm betting it wouldn't even work.

So...I'm trying to move on.  Trying to just take pleasure in all of the little things that make having preschoolers easier than having toddlers.  Trying to tell myself, when I see tiny babies in infant carriers, that at least I'm lucky that I'm not lugging those things around anymore. Telling myself that it's SO much easier and more fun to take the kids out in public now.  Reminding myself that it's much cheaper to feed them than when they were on preemie formula. Congratulating myself on not changing diapers anymore. Breathing a sigh of relief when the kids can solve their own disputes without violence and parental intervention.  Relishing the extra space that we have in our tiny house without bouncy seats, exersaucers, and baby swings all over the place.  And yet...yet, if someone gave me $20,000 right now and told me to try again, I would do it in a second. I wouldn't even consider it--it would be done. Because the thought of snuggling a tiny life, smelling that heavenly, ethereal baby smell, feeling my heart stretch just a little more to make room for another big love--all of that outweighs those other benefits a million times over.

So...if any of you readers live in the Lexington area and have new(ish) babies, and you need someone to just come and hold them--I'm your girl. :-)  If I can't have one, I'd love to borrow one!  In the meantime, here are some of the pictures I've been staring at lately--that show how much my "babies" (because really--aren't our kids always our babies?) have grown up:

1 comment:

  1. I can't relate to the infertility struggle, but I can totally relate to feeling like time slips by too fast. I don't really care for cliches, but the one about time flying when you have kids is too true. I still look at my oldest, who's four, and wonder "Where did my froggy baby go? Who's this PERSON?"

    And I agree. I LOVE watching their personalities form. And seeing them process their thoughts as they learn something new.