Of course it's true. I do miss the squishy little babies that rolled around on the floor with giant diaper butts. I miss the smell of newborn baby head. I miss the part where they fit so perfectly onto my chest. I miss watching their eyes twitch and roll back into their tiny baby skulls while they slept and I miss that adorable one arm out with a fist pose when they were asleep. I miss how they looked at me before they had language and I would sing to them. Eyes wide and and blowing slobber bubbles. Spaghetti pics. First bubble baths. First birthdays. I loved them all.
And yeah, I miss it.
But something happened this summer.
I stopped being sad about it. I stopped crying and looking through baby pictures. I'm not sure how it happened but I do remember when I realized it.
It started becoming real when I stopped at a garage sale a few weeks ago. It has been YEARS since I stopped at one. And dudes? I LOVE a damn garage sale. I love them so hard it's silly. But they weren't worth the trouble of dragging two littles out of the car and praying they didn't break something, puke on someone, get heat stroke or cry the whole time. Fast forward 7 years and stopping at that garage sale felt fucking glorious.
But that wasn't what did it.
A week or so later we went to a movie. And holy shit...we saw the WHOLE THING. No one peed themselves or screamed or ran up and down the aisle. All four of us went to the movies as a family and we actually watched the movie. Insane.
But that wasn't what did it either.
A few days after the movie I was tooling around the house half-assedly cleaning and singing along to Spotify when my precious first child came to me and said in a very Ricky Ricardo tone, "Mama? Did you forget to feed me and Plum breakfast?" His voice giving me an assumed finger wag to rival all other finger wags. Ruh-Roh. "Yep! Totally did not feed you guys. I am so sorry. Go ahead and grab something from the fridge and I will start lunch." Watching the kids help themselves to some cheese and grapes I almost cried the weird tears that make no sense. THEY WERE FEEDING THEMSELVES! PRAISE THE BABY UNICORNS!
But nope. That wasn't what did it.
What sealed the deal was last week. I took them to the park. It was all going swimmingly until....
I looked square into the eyes of my two darling children and, with an urgency reserved only for the most serious of business and an intense stage whisper that means that what I was about to say was real-er then anything I've ever said to them, I told them that I was about to crap my pants and that they HAD TO MOVE. THEIR. FEET. and run with me NOW.
A look of determination came over them as they immediately descended the playground equipment with a quickness. "Come on, mama! Let's GO!!!" and they ran with me across two parking lots ( TWO fucking parking lots?!) and a field the length of actual Hell to get to the grossest portable toilets that have ever existed and fuck yes (!), I made it.
And my two awesome kids? They sat on the lawn outside cheering for me. "Go mama! Go mama! Go Go Go Mama! Go!"
Relieved (wink wink), I exited the box of gross and I sat on the grass with them and in a moment of pure elation for the teamwork that had just happened, I turned to Pants and professed my undying love for him. Then I turned to Plum and said, "Thank you for helping mama to not poop in her pants. You are the flippin' best." We laughed and I kid you not there was a group hug. It was glorious. Just glorious.
They had my damn back, man. They got it. They were old enough to understand the urgency of having to crap so bad that there was no time to gather things or go down a slide one more time. They ran with me. They encouraged me as they ran faster than me, "Come on, mama! You can do it!" and as I laughed at how ridiculous it all was I thanked baby Santa Claus that I wasn't lugging a car seat or force running a toddler through the freaking woods while pooping myself and crying. Nope! My kids are at an age where they are completely on board with the fact that pooping one's pants is not ideal.
Praise all the things that my kids are growing up. Hallelujah. HALLELUJAH!
And that's when I realized that I totally freaking loved having older kids.
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xoxo, Mama Pants