Jeremy and I are blessed to be surrounded by friends and family that have little children- little meaning under the age of 7. We love playing with them and being a part of their lives. My sister in law has 5 kids that range in age from 7months to 8. We spent our July 4th weekend with them at my mother in laws house and they are fun and rowdy and we love them to no end! I fed my sweet niece banana pudding until I thought she would pop and she still wanted more. The older ones loved to hang and play on top of my boys and it was a wonderful time. One the way home, my boys laughed and talked about all the cute things they did and how sweet they are. One of the blessings of having the oldest grandchildren is that my kids love babies and little kids because they have been constantly surrounded by them with our family. Seeing all these different ages together has brought a few things to mind.....
......I love knowing my kids as young men- I miss the babies and the cuteness and all the joy and wonder that comes with being little kids. There is nothing like a baby snuggle or the sweet two year old that is learning to talk and everything they say is exciting and funny. Equally as wonderful is having deep conversations about God with your 15 year old or discussing politics with your 12 yr old. (Politics aren't quite as wonderful to discuss especially with my black/white thinking kid)
.......I'm excited to see the relationship that I have with my boys as adults. I'm looking forward to the next phase of life, especially with my oldest. I'm not a fan of middle school. Like I'm a fan of taking them on the last day of 5th grade and locking them away until the first day of high school. Middle school parenting is nothing to play with. Nothing about it is easy. In fact... it is harder than the the worst colicky, throwing up, diarrhea baby combined. But something happens the summer between. I don't know if there is a switch that goes... ok... high school... turn it on. There is a maturity that comes, an awareness. Don't get me wrong... they are still teenagers, mouthy, selfish and they know everything. But they are also kind and aware of how they treat others. They are learning to be adults. Learning to be responsible. The more my relationship changes with my kids the more I realize that the fast changing parenting that happens over the first 18 years leaves you with the friendship you get to have with your children as adults for 30, 40, 50 years. I can't wait for that. Not to rush the moment and stages we are in at the moment, but to look forward to being able to just sit and enjoy being with them.
I love little kids. I love holding them and playing with them. But I think my favorite age is exactly where I am now.... watching my boys become men... godly men... responsible men... men with character and integrity. Men who will make a difference in this world. Leaders.... not followers. Watching them navigate through this age is difficult, but seeing the beginnings of the fruit that is being produced makes it so worth it.