Sunday, January 24, 2010

{ Sacred Years }

J. had just turned 3 yrs old the Summer before we moved back to VA in 2006.
There was something about him turning 3 years old
that I wasn't quite prepared for.
Where did my little baby go, I wondered, I felt.
In fact, at his 3rd birthday party I was standing right behind him
during the singing and blowing out of candles.
Once he blew them out I leaned over and whispered,
"Can you wish to stay 3 forever and
not grow up anymore?"

I knew where my baby had gone:
He had grown into the precious and obedient little boy
looking back at me with the biggest smile on his face,
reached up and hugged me tight.

J. had a blast that Summer.
He spent every single day with his Dad
playing baseball

and all kinds of sports and outdoor activities.
Once Summer ended B. had to go down to work in Virginia
earlier than I could go because I had a few more months of Beauty School
to finish up. I loved that I got to eat lunch with J. almost everyday at school.
The girls just adored him & one day as he was leaving he said,
"All the girls love me, all around the town!"
(That year I was also coaching softball & volleyball and he came to practices & games a lot
and needless to say, got a lot of attention from all my girls!)

So, I'd pick J. up from my parent's house at dinner time
and it was just him & I for the night.
We'd play puzzles, read books, and pop popcorn for movies.
My little Buddy.
* * *
Once we moved to Virginia in late Fall we had a lot of time on our hands!
We had lots of playgroup activities and participated in a Joy School with the
most amazing, talented friends.
Every afternoon around 2:30pm I'd get J. all ready to go to
baseball practices with Coach Daddy.
The players adored him and they were his idols.
Most 3 yr. old little boys play cars, tucks and trains that go Beep Beep!
J. would line the the trains on one side, the cars on the other
make dugouts with the bins that held them and ask me to sing
the star spangled banner as he stood with his right hand, hat in hand,
over his heart and his left arm behind his back.

"Play Ball!" he would yell at the end of my solo,
and his imagination reenacted everything he saw and heard at the practices.
He knew the first and last name and nickname of each player
on the Southern Virginia baseball team,
their number and position.
It was the most awe-inspiring thing, to watch J. create
elaborate baseball games between the trains and cars.
After beauty school I had a huge collection of nail polish that I kept
in this big pink organizing box. He'd get into it and instead of opening them up
and dumping them out as most 3 yr. olds would do, he had them be the players in
the baseball games too. I just loved this time with J.
I enjoyed him so much.
We made many crafts and pictures for our home walls
and for Coach Daddy's offices.
The cake plate has never been so filled as it was back then,
with so many cupcakes and cookies we baked together.
He always loved to help.
Everyday was an adventure and we loved it.
* * *
It was approaching Easter time and I was very pregnant with M.
There was this book that I had been wanting to buy for maybe the past year,
but it was $20 retail at Deseret Book so I kept putting it off.
A friend in my previous ward quoted from it and I wanted it ever since.
So, I was checking out Amazon and they had it, for like $5 so I got it!
Wouldn't you know it had a DI price tag on it for like, $2!
(Had to mention the deal b/c the price was the only reason I kept putting it off.
However, I think I bought it just when I needed it most.
Coincidence? I think not!)

So, I was reading chapters at random and I started to read a chapter
that applied to J., the Preschool Years (3-5 yrs old)
I sobbed. and sobbed. and sobbed.
Pregnancy hormone-induced, maybe.
The Spirit confirming the truthfulness of what I read, Without a doubt.
Grab your tissues, good friends, and read on...

Advice for a Preschooler's Mother:
"Preschoolers love to do anything you do- with you.
They love to cook when you cook, garden when you garden, and take a bath
when you bathe. This can be really annoying at times. And it will often feel like
you have no privacy or time to yourself. And you're right, you don't.
During a child's early years, most moms start believing that they
and their child will be joined at the hip for the rest of their lives.

Actually, there is no need to develop this fear.
The preschool years are actually the last time in your child's life when
she'll think you're the sun, moon, and stars.

Your luster will begin to dim and almost fade away as she grows up.
You won't change, but your child's perception of you will change.
So, don't resent these few years when
you are everything to your child.

Your preschooler's added confidence with language will often have
her saying things that make you laugh out loud or get tears in your eyes.
Preschoolers are natural poets- everything that comes
from their mouths is original. Preschoolers are generous
and love to give presents. They will give you several dozen a day.
Nothing in their life or their speech is cliche. Most of what they see and
experience is for the first time- so everything is seen with
new eyes and uncommon awe.

Keep all of this in mind as you care for your preschooler and lead her
through a world of adventure, play, work, and learning.

As you're trying to put up with all of this exploring,
just remember what's really important:
that your child survive these years knowing she's loved.
All spills-even entire gallons of milk- can eventually be wiped,
cleaned, or scraped up. The laundry can wait as you watch your child
through the window to make sure she's safe by herself in her own backyard.
And great talent can be discovered if you gently redirect her attention
from a hot burner and onto some finger paints, coloring pages, playdough,
or an extra bowl full of cookie dough right by your side and your big cookie bowl.

Preschool years pass so quickly.
They might not seem that way while you're living through them with your children,
but trust me, they will when you're looking back.
Once your child enters school it will seem like time puts on its running shoes.
You'll never again have those long hours at home to enjoy together
without the worry of school, friends, homework, and outside schedules.

This makes the preschool years downright sacred.
You will never have your child's undivided adoration again.
There is something uncontaminated and pure about those early years.
Spending these years with your child is worth any amount of sacrifice.
There is no better season of life to share with your child,
your whole, undivided, unhurried self."

**Sniff, sniff.**
These words hit me like a sock to the stomach back then!
And, unfortunately, it is true.
But, I've found that it's not in one day that everything changes all at once.
They let go a little at a time and you do notice when it happens,
but it has been little by little for me. And I am grateful for that!
Now that I am approaching these *fabulous* years with M.,
and trust me, he has me in CIRCLES already, as most of you know,
I really want to make the best of them, for me, for us,
but mostly just for him.
Everyday I pray to be the mom these kids need and deserve.
It doesn't always work out so perfectly,
but we keep at it and we both learn along the way.
I love that this information comes back into my head when he spills out soup
and crumbles his cookies and dumps out every single toy he owns all over the place.
I try to remember it is a blessing that I get to be home to witness his every move,
and now, with camera in hand, to share them with you!
Stay tuned!