I find myself in awe lately of how fast the changes are happpening in front of my eyes with the girls.
When did Katie pass me up height-wise to such a huge degree?
When did Rachel elongate and grow those running sticks?
When did I finally notice that Rachel’s “squishyness” in her sweet face faded into the beautiful delicate features of an almost-preteen?
When did Katie develop such a quirky, hilarious sense of humor?
It seems I’ve been sleeping at the wheel a bit. I’m sure a lot of moms feel the same way…a sense that time is whipping by to such a degree that you want to turn around grab its tail to slow it down and pull it to you. At times it feels like quiet desperation to hold on to our silliness in the car on the way to school and afternoon lounging at home on a weekend when everyone just wants to be right here.
I can feel it.
A shift of energy in their little spirits. That gradual wing-spreading of social calendars and girlfriend outings…it’s just beginning and I’m putting a hand over the small hole this change is putting in my heart to keep it from growing to a size that is unmanageable. They are my pals—even with shopping trips that exasperate and the teaching of life lessons. The familiarity is thick and lovely and comfortable.
Will this go away as they let go of the nest? I wonder.
The Mother’s Day photo shoot tradition is growing quite tiresome for certain members of the Blair clan. A particular insult comes in the form of wardrobe and posing…quiet tolerance is my gift on this special day (a holiday I begin at the crack of dawn and take all the way to when my head hits the pillow). They seem to know that the arguing isn’t going to help during this once-a-year photoshoot experience. It’s secretly a way for me to marvel at how much they’ve grown and their beauty and sweetness. I like to get up close as if to push hair out of eyes and adjust clothing…I’m just taking advantage of an opportunity to examine their little faces and take in their smiles, but thankfully, they don’t have to know my hidden agenda. It is a favorite memory for me every year and this one was no different.
I did that the other day….Rachel was telling me a story and I was busy studying her little catepillar eyebrows and the way her eyes get wide when she is animately telling a story. Busted! She asked me a question and I was completely engrossed in her face and had no idea what she was talking about. I think she wondered what the heck I was doing, but I couldn’t help it. Growth of our children is flat-out amazing to me. The fact that I can buy pants for my oldest and the pretty much two weeks later, I’m seeing highwaters from across the parking lot when I pick her up. How in the world does this happen? I’m also fascinated by the fact that I was dressing them in pink and ruffles just four years ago and now their closets are a shrine to Nike and their sports obsessions. Pink is a four letter word in this house…not to be uttered if I know what’s good for me. When exactly did Irish dancing shoes, twirly skirts and patterned tights give way to soccer shorts, mudy sneakers and a minivan packed with athletic equipment? I’d like to know, please. Thank you.
I frequently think about what memories the girls will cling to in reference to their upbringing. I think ritual is a huge part of our parenting experience. For that I have PH to thank for his unrelenting role in making sure family traditions are alive and well to the nth degree. He is so wonderful at making sure we have our family breakfast at the local diner at least twice a month…and that we stop at the infamous Camp 18 to have a mammoth cinnamon roll on the way to our annual Oregon Coast July weekend. Rituals were extremely important in his childhood and he talks about it fondly. I’m taking the cues from him and following this pattern for our own kids. Even though a weekly Sunday lunch trip to a certain restaurant taxes my GI system, I happily participate in an act that brings tremendous joy to our girls (and to him). I think these things will be the keepers—memories they share with their own kids. I love the thought of that.
So, as another Mother’s Day comes to a close, my reluctant subjects gave me more than they thought they did. Working on these images this morning I am marveling at this whole mothering process and the changes that come daily. It’s really incredibly, actually.
Here’s hoping yours was a wonderful day, lovelies!