You know, it dawned on me yesterday that I've had a problem for the last little while. My problem has been identifying my children. "What, you don't know your own children?" you ask, incredulous. Well, in a way, sometimes that's how I feel.
You see, Olivia has gone through a growth spurt in so many ways. She's getting taller than I think she should be, and she's also beginning that gradual process of putting away childish things. She's capable of more, and she's desiring more.
Meanwhile, Angela has put aside the preschool child in just about every way possible. She looks like a school-age child, has had a shift in interest now that she can read, and has grown in her vocabulary immensely as books have opened a new world of learning to her. The other "problem" is that she looks like Olivia should look right now! She's wearing the clothes that Olivia has worn in recent years - some just last year. Her hair has grown so long that although it's not quite as long as Olivia's was before we cut it last year, it's definitely very similar in style and texture. So, I look at her and see where Olivia should be and expect Angela to look younger.
Then there's Steven. I look at him and realize that where I used to see all toddler, now I'm seeing glimpses of preschooler. The toddler is still there, don't get me wrong! But, it's definitely giving way more and more to the preschooler in him.
So, I see Olivia and think that there's no way I have a child that big; I see Angela and think she's Olivia; I wonder where Angela is; and I see Steven and try to soak up those last beautiful glimpses of the "toddlerness" I so greatly enjoy.
But, I must admit, even though I sometimes have the problem of identifying my children, I definitely cannot say it's a bad problem. Will I miss some of the things from those bygone stages of life? Without a doubt! Will I shed a few tears as I try to keep up with their ever-changing identities? Definitely! But, I'm so greatly enjoying watching them grow. It's a delight and a privilege. And, if I make sure to pay attention, I can definitely remind them that they don't have to grow up too fast.
Now, to give a light-hearted ending to my somewhat serious thought-sharing, let me leave you with this...
Steven walked into my room this morning and said, "Mommy, the hippos are hungry! Can I play the hippo game (Hungry, Hungry Hippos) so I can feed them?" Now, how in the world can a mama say no to that? :-)