When I was pregnant with her, people with children would tell me, "Nothing prepares you for becoming a parent." (Some of the most unhelpful "advice" I've ever been told). Now I keep hearing those with graduating high schoolers or adult children say, "Don't blink, these next four years will go so quickly."
Thanks...I think. As if the first 14 years weren't a whirl.
When she was a newborn, I couldn't wait for her to be big enough so I could take her skating with me in the jogging stroller. When she was finally 6 months old, I took her around the lake for the first time. When I put some speed on, I looked down and she had her hands up next to her head, a look of wonder on her face, which slowly became a smile, then a giggle, and then a full-on laugh.
At age one I couldn't wait for her to learn more words, so I could be done with the pointing and the crying and the random temper tantrums because we could not understand her desires.
When she was 2 I couldn't wait for her to be done with diapers, especially since we had a second baby on the way.
|The family at Dana Lake. You can hear the whining, right?|
When she was 6, I was thrilled when she move to a larger booster seat so she could finally belt herself into the car. Now I just had to contort my body into strange pretzel shapes to get one child into the backseat, while she sat there safely buckled in, waiting to go.
When she turned 10 I was excited for her to move on to movies that others in the family also wanted to watch. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Disney animated film, but there's only so many times you can watch "Finding Nemo" before you don't care if he gets found.
When she was in 7th grade I couldn't wait for her to be old enough and responsible enough to not need before-school and after-school care. For the first time in years I could just get myself ready and out the door, knowing that the eldest would be responsible enough to lock up after the two girls left for school. We suddenly had extra money in our budget that could now be used in other ways.
We used some of that extra money to have date nights, because we no longer had the added expense of a babysitter whenever we went out. We went on our first spring break trip as a family, where many fantastic memories were made.
Yes, she is surly at times, prickly, impolite, pick your adjective. But she is also expressive, funny, sensitive and caring.
These next four years? I can wait.