Friday, August 19, 2011

just stay little

gage and garrett august 2009

i've had a lot on my heart these past few weeks thanks to the approaching school year, another birthday and this growing baby i'm toting around in my tummy. i have always felt like my boys are growing at lightning speed but in recent weeks it has felt like i looked at them one day and saw those little baby faces that i remember and then suddenly one day i was staring at two big boys. i started questioning myself. have i taught them enough? have i loved them enough? have i given them enough of me? with gage on the verge of kindergarten and what i fear will be a non-stop road to high school, i have really had to console myself that yes, i have done well. he is ready.

i sometimes long for those mornings when i was a new mother and i realized that sleeping in was no longer in the cards for me. gage was such an early riser and some mornings the best that i could do was to lay out a blanket and toys on the floor and drift in and out of sleep while he scooted back and forth and rolled over for his favorite toys. i remember many times talking to other moms about sleep schedules and most being shocked that i didn't just let him cry himself back to sleep at five o'clock in the morning. i never did and i never could. i wouldn't change a thing with this baby either. i long to have mornings like that again with my now five-year-old.

i think about my time with garrett and realize that our time together was more infrequent and more rushed. i am grateful that he has held on to his snuggle bug tendencies a little longer than his brother did so that we can make up for time that we didn't always have. as much as we will miss gage during the days, i am looking forward to some quality time with my little blonde boy before we welcome our newest addition.

which brings me to another one of my concerns. how am i going to split myself three ways? the boys and i have a routine of bedtime books and nighttime songs before bed each night. we hardly miss out on it. it's always been so convenient even when gare was smaller because they were in the same room and i could stay as long as i wanted in there with them. now it's not just going to be me and "the boys". it's going to be me and "the children" and that sounds pretty bizarre to me. there will be a girls room and a boys room and my time will be cut and so will my attention. it gives me anxiety. not that i am not incredibly thrilled to be welcoming this sweet little girl into our family, i just feel so inadequate sometimes.

i love being a mother. i always knew that would be the greatest joy of my life. i always knew that of all my dreams, that was the one that i could not pass up.

i have two lively {and when i say lively i mean full on rowdy hooligan} boys who keep me on my toes and who at times make me believe that my sanity is all but gone. but boy when i see those little sparks of brilliance and imagination and accomplishment in their eyes i thank my heavenly father for sending me two little boys who think that jumping off of the couches is just as good as flying in a rocket and that unloading every blanket and pillow from every closet in the house can provide them the materials to build a mansion fit for a king. dull moments are something that we just don't have around here and for that i am actually thankful.

nearly three years ago when callie was still comatose in the hospital i remember talking to my mom and complaining about how difficult the boys were being. and i'll never forget what she said. she told me "i would give anything for callie to be driving me crazy right now." but she wasn't. instead, there she lay. hooked up to who knows how many machines and tubes and monitors. unable to be held, unable to move and barely able to breathe on her own. with no certainty on whether or not she would be still be alive within the next twenty-four hours. i felt about the size of a crumb for ever complaining about my two healthy, lively children who later that night i would tuck into bed and then go to sleep peacefully knowing that they were going to be there tomorrow.

since that conversation i have tried to fully embrace every moment with my boys. the good, the bad, the ugly and the terrible even. sometimes, a lot of the time actually, i fall miserably short and find myself praying for bedtime. but i do keep trying.

the mother i hope to become is full of patience and understanding. she does everything right. she never yells, she never misses an opportunity to teach. i realize i may never get there but i wont ever stop trying because i know that what i do today and every day with my children will have lasting results that carry not just through their lives but through generations to come. that is where my anxiety comes from. knowing that i can't just say "well i did my best. i didn't know any better."

i do know better. and i want more than better for them. the great thing about us humans is that we have the capacity to learn and to grow. i chose to be a mother and right now that is where my efforts need to be.

so the anxiety may not go away anytime soon, but i just hope and pray that one day when they aren't so little anymore, i will look back and realize that my list of regrets is really not bad at all. and i will be surrounded by my amazing children who will probably all be taller than me!


Lacey said...

You made me cry.

Aunt Tiff said...

Ashley...there is no doubt that you are an amazing mother! It is amazing how your love grows with each child. I'm sure that list of regrets won't be big at all!!

katilanae said...

wow, just reading that you can tell you are one amazing mother doing amazing things for your two cute little boys. sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves but i know one day your children will thank you for being the mother that you are!

Lizzie said...

wow, what perspective to treasure every single second of our kids lives!! thank you :)