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Sunday, July 8, 2012

All good things must come to an end.

Tonight I had every intention of typing up a new blog post, but then, I found myself at Target, and then found myself at home with 3 new purple baskets and 3 new blue baskets. And what I had intended to be a half hour 'fold-the-kids-clothes-and-put-them-away' project turned into a 3 hour complete closet gutting and reorganizing project. 
A project that was on my 'to do' list the ENTIRE summer break. (Did I mention I start back to school TOMORROW?)
Such the procrastinator I am....
Anyhoo, tonight while surfing FB, enjoying my 'good job me' glass of wine, I found this article posted by my friend, Amber. I read it and just loved it. So much so, that I wanted it to forever be in my kids' blog  books so that they will someday appreciate these Phases and Moments with their own kids, the way I do with them.It's just so...perfect. 
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Click the link below to take you to the actual article on the original site. 
Kara Gebhart Uhl


Phases and Moments

This week, Sophie and I have had a tough week. Every "no" has been met with a "but." Every request has come out as a demand. "Please" and "thank you" have all been but forgotten. One day she was whining so much I truly wondered if her whine voice was her new normal voice. I posted on Facebook, "Sophie had her moments when she was 2 and 3. But 4. Ohmygoodness 4. No one warned me about 4."
Many people responded to my post. Some were dismayed to learn that it doesn't necessarily get easier. Others warned me that, for them, the so-called difficult years came later. And then there's my friend Aaron. He said, "Someday, we'll get to an age when we look back on when our kids were young and we won't be able to remember the stuff they did that made us age early. Until then, keep on keeping on! This is life."
He's right. Already, in my four short years of parenting, I can tell that it's not years that are difficult. But phases.
Like the I-want-to-nurse-every-hour-and-I-will-scream-bloody-murder-if-I'm-not-attached-to-your-boob phase.
Or the I'm-going-to-pee-on-you-every-time-you-change-me phase.
Or the I'm-going-to-poop-12-times-a-day-in-a-rainbow-of-colors-to-totally-freak-you-out phase.
Or the I'm-not-going-to-poop-for-a-week-to-totally-freak-you-out phase.
Or the I-want-to-be-bounced-until-your-arms-are-burning-with-pain phase.
Or the I-want-to-be-wide-awake-between-2am-and-4am phase.
Or the I'm-going-to-put-everything-in-my-mouth-including-dead-bugs-and-stale-Cheerios-buried-in-my-car seat phase.
Or the I'm-going-to-pull-at-your-shirt-in-public-exposing-your-bra-to-everyone phase.
Or the I'm-going-to-take-away-all-your-"me"-time-by-requiring-your-assistance-for-three-hours-to-go-to-sleep-every-night-for-a-month phase.
Or the I'm-only-going-to-eat-cheese phase.
Or the I-will-totally-and-completely-freak-out-when-you-leave-my-sight phase.
Or the I'm-going-to-insist-on-doing-everything-myself-even-though-I-can't-quite-do-everything-myself-and-I'm-going-to-get-unreasonably-frustrated-when-you-try-to-help-me-or-you-don't-try-to-help-me-and-I-fail phase.
Or the I-will-beg-you-to-read-the-same-book-to-me-12-times-a-day phase.
Or the I-will-beg-you-to-sing-"Old MacDonald Had a Farm"-to-me-12-times-a-day phase.
Or the I-will-run-into-everything-covering-myself-with-bruises-making-you-worry-that-someone-is-going-to-call-Child-Services-on-you phase.
Or the I-will-climb-everything phase.
Or the I-will-refuse-to-hold-your-hand-in-parking-lots phase.
Or the I-will-laugh-and-enjoy-it-when-you-put-me-in-time-out phase.
Or the I-will-draw-on-walls-and-not-paper-but-only-when-you're-not-looking phase.
Or the I-will-draw-all-over-myself-with-non-washable-markers-that-you-can-only-blame-yourself-for-buying phase.
Or the I-will-take-off-my-socks-and-shoes-the-second-you-put-me-in-the-car-seat phase.
Or the I-will-suddenly-for-no-reasonable-explanation-become-terrified-of-the-dark phase.
Or the I-will-insist-on-picking-out-every-item-of-clothing-I-wear-every-day-and-I-will-make-sure-your-eyes-will-hurt-when-you-look-at-me phase.
Or the I-will-ask-"why"-over-and-over-and-over-and-over-and-over phase.
Or the I-will-stand-against-the-wall-screaming-refusing-to-get-in-the-pool-for-any-of-the-expensive-swim-lessons-you-bought phase.
Or the I-will-stick-my-hand-down-my-diaper-even-when-it's-dirty phase.
Or the my-nose-will-run-all-day-for-a-week-straight-requiring-you-to-chase-me-down-and-wipe-it-clean-while-I-scream-72-times-a-day phase.
Or the I-will-open-doors-I'm-not-supposed-to phase.
Or the I-will-push-things-into-the-pantry-so-I-can-climb-on-top-of-them-to-get-treats-I'm-not-supposed-to-have-at-9:30-in-the-morning phase.
Or the-I-will-yell-for-you-to-come-upstairs-threatening-to-wake-up-my-brothers-with-my-screams-22-times-over-two-hours-until-I-finally-fall-asleep phase.
Or the I-will-wake-up-at-6am-demanding-oatmeal-even-though-I-didn't-fall-asleep-until-11pm phase.
Or the I-will-argue-every-time-you-say-no phase, which we are in, now.
And here's the thing. They're just phases. They end. They always end. Even when they feel like they will never end, they always end. And ... a new one comes along.
But if that sounds depressing, here's another thing. Interspersed between all the phases are moments. These incredible make-you-want-to-cry-with-joy-beam-with-pride-thank-God-or-the-universe-or-whatever-that-you-do-or-don't-believe-in-that-you're-alive moments.
Kicks from within.
Falling asleep on my chest.
Unprompted smiles.
Unprompted kisses.
Unprompted hugs.
Unprompted I love yous.
A hand-drawn "family portrait."
The first lone trip down the slide.
The first lone scooter ride.
The first walk into preschool.
Concern, for me.
Concern, for others.
Concern, for plants and animals.
A song sung quietly, completely, simply for the joy of it.
Holding hands without a fight.
Conversations, real conversations.
Firsts. All the firsts.
Lasts. All the lasts.
Seemingly-insignificant-but actually-quite-significant betweens. All those catch-you-off-guard betweens.
And the many, many, many, oh-so many more.
The moments make it all worth it. And in a way, the phases do, too. Because it all intertwines, wraps itself around each other and weaves in and out creating the tapestry we call life. Some of it's good. Really good. Some of it's bad. Really bad. But it is what it is and even though I had a column in my college newspaper called "Beautiful, Isn't It?" I'm not going to lie here and say that it's all beautiful. It's not. In fact, some of it is downright ugly. But then, there are these beautiful, incredible, make-it-totally-worth-it moments. Moments that make us have more children. Moments that make us love when other people have children. Moments that make the human race continue on.
So Sophie and I are in a phase. The two of us sat down and talked about it. I had a glass of wine after she went to bed. We had a better day today. Tonight I got an unprompted I love you.
I hate the phases, while in them. I think, when I'm in a phase, I have to be the only person going through such a phase and I ask, over and over, Why is this so hard? And then I look back at the phases and think,That wasn't so hard. I forget phases. I live for moments. I love moments. I remember moments. I look forward to moments, engrave moments in my brain, wish moments didn't pass by so quickly.
It's all just life. All my children will have phases this year, next year, 10 years from now, into adulthood. And yet, they will all have moments. These incredible, life-changing moments this year, next year, 10 years from now, into adulthood.
And I want them. I want the phases. I want the moments. I want them all. Because it's a package deal with kids. You can't pick and choose. The bad makes the good seem better. They're human. I'm human. It's life.
This is life.
And although I may not always be happy in it, I'm happy for it. So happy for it.
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." --Frederick Buechner
So did ya like it? In case you were wondering, 
Colton is also in the 'I-will-argue-every-time-you-say-no phase.  More accurately described as the 'I-will-yell-NO-louder-at-you-or-shush-you-if-you-tell-me-no' phase.  
Ethan is still in the 'I-will-refuse-to-hold-your-hand-in-parking-lots' phase.
and Hunter is in the ' I-will-ask-"why"-over-and-over-and-over-and-over-and-over phase.
Tonight, I am in the 'I wish we were millionaires so that I didn't have to go to work tomorrow so that I could stay home and watch my kids grow and learn phase'.  :(  I LOVE my job. I love it. But I am in total awe of my children and I really, really enjoy hanging out with them. {Sigh}. 
But, as Hunter said at bedtime tonight, after I gave them the play-by-play for tomorrow, "Don't worry mom, I will TOTALLY see you after work." 
What a good way to end my last night of summer vacation. :)  Thanks for all the memories, kids. I love you to moon and back, you know. 
At the zoo

Breaker's Water Park

Brandi Fenton Splash Pad

Purple Heart Park...after our photos with Meridy

Roasting Marshmallows for the first time in our new fire pit.  
Kids-in case you are wondering years from now...you could've cared less about the marshmallows. You ALL just wanted more graham crackers. You can't possibly be related to me. 

Father's Day at Ponka's Pool

Don't get any bigger while I'm at work, okay kids? 


Anabelle said...

Ok, I couldn't finish that article. I can't go to our first day with a tear stained face.

Mary said...

That was a great article...I will remember to cherish the moments and just take deep breaths through the phases : )

And how cute is Hunter...love her!

Nicole said...

That was very sweet my friend...

Tim and Darcy said...

I so needed this! I always love reading your posts, Ami. I feel like I've been struggling more than I used to. (I'm sure that's one of the reason for less blogging...I'm working on it) but every time I come read one of your posts, I get a boost of "positive" that reminds me of how I used to feel (how I SHOULD feel) and approach life with trips! THANK YOU!!!! And PS - I LOOOVE the last picture of the kids!

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