Saturday, October 2, 2010

10 Things I Never Want To...

....Forget about the "early" years.

It seems like whenever I talk to anyone about the kids, they always say things like...

"Yes, those early years are difficult!"
"I didn't think I would make it through those early years!"
"The early years? Wow - good luck!"

Granted, I have not raised anyone older than a 5 year old at this point, but I can say one very big thing -- as crazy and loud as they can be, I like to imagine that those "early" years aren't really as bad as they seem. Here are 10 things I never want to forget about this time. 

1) The laughter -- does anyone really want to forget a child's laughter? It's potentially the easiest way to get someone to smile. In a bad mood? Head to the mall and listne to children laugh. If I could bottle it up, I would. Until then, I guess I'll just have to depend on a video camera. 

2) The joy -- I love how Zoey can find absolute joy in finding her "bug" friends in a bush or picking flowers along a path. Or her excitement just to see the clouds. With Jack, I can't tell you how excited he is to build with his legos and create something incredible. Heck, sometimes they find joy in even something as simple as putting their shoes on correctly.

3) The toys -- It's not much that I want to remmeber the toys themselves. It's that I want to remember how proud they were of those toys. Jack and his legos. Zoey and her puzzles. Jack and his cars. Zoey and her tea set.

4) The books -- This weekend I'm going to record Zoey reading her favorite book - "Caps for Sale." When you hear it, you'll understand why it's so important to remember these details. Jack loves Shel Silverstein, Zoey loves Dr. Suess. It's the little details that I know will be forgotten over time.

5) The tales -- You've heard it before: Jack told me what he wanted to be when he grows up. Zoey tells me about where potty ends up. It's just one short conversation, but it's so much fun! However, it's easy to think we'll always remember those tales. We won't. 

6) The late-nights -- Late-nights were killer, especially with Jack when he had coilic. Those first three months are a complete fog. However, I want to remember that exhaustion, and know that there's always a new phase.

7) The tantrums -- I hate tantrums, but I think they are important to remember . It's important to remember that you've come this far. I mean, look back and tell me that your life has been a breeze. Please. When I look back and see all that I've accomplished, all of a sudden life doesn't seem so bad. "You mean, I finished two semesters of college with a colicky baby, took 18 hours a semester and still managed to graduate a year early AND cum laude? Wow." It's the same thing with tantrums. I know that it will get better. And honestly, I think it's important to remember how your kids grow up. Those tantrums are very much a part of who my daughter is at the moment, and no matter how difficult they may be, I need to remember that. 

8) The spontaneous fun -- I love making plans on the fly with my kids. Now, I love my schedules more than most, but I'm not afraid to change. I know that in a few years, that won't be possible because of school, activities, work, etc. But now? Give me a good ol' apple orchard any day! 

9) The simplicity -- Life is so simple. We have one calendar. A complete daily schedule. There's relatively very little difference in the day-to-day activities during the week, with the exception of MOPS Tuesdays and Life Group on Wednesday.  I love it. I know that when we're juggling Jack's soccer practices, Zoey's dance classes, basketball games,'s not going to be that easy.

10) The love -- Why did I make this one last? Because it's the one that kills me the most. I know I'm going to miss the pure love these kids show to each other, to us and to friends/family/strangers. They are truly innocent and love you just for you. I admire that. I know that it's going to change in the coming years though. Until then, I'm going to cherish every moment of it. I never want to forget that dedication.

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