Back before Gracie was born or conceived, she was very very much wanted. She was wanted by me. I wanted to hold and snuggle her. I wanted to nurse her and rock her. I spent a lot of time wishing and hoping for her….Of course I didn’t know who I was wishing for, and she is my first baby love, and all of our children were very much wanted and dreamt of…but there’s something different about that first baby…the imagination was quite vivid in its imagining of a first baby.
However, I had at least one fear about having a baby too. This sounds so ridiculous to me now, but I’ll say it anyway, I was scared of having a big kid after the baby phase was over and done with. After the chubby cheeks and thighs had thinned out, and babbling had turned into conversation. The time when strangers would no longer tell me how cute my baby was.
Well, old me, you had nothing to fear. The wonder and amazement is just different with a big kid. I do still marvel at the baby things.
Learning to walk, and form syllables is amazing. It would never get old ever.
Still, I get just as much pride and enjoyment out of my big kids (or at least what’s big to me now). It’s just that, the pride changes. Right at this very moment, Gracie’s favorite author is Mary Downing Hahn. And 20 something years ago, she was my favorite author. I remember going to the library and checking out 5 or 6 of her books at a time and then going home and curling up under my comforter, devouring them one at a time. Now I get to listen to Gracie chatter away about how a ghost story is going to resolve, or about how a character is evolving and learning to get along with others.
It isn’t just nostalgia though. All of a sudden the girls are ready to play much more involved games. Even though the box says 10+, we played Settlers of Catan with Grace and Ava this weekend. I felt a small thrill as Ava and Grace negotiated a deal to trade some wool and bricks to be able to build settlements, all by themselves. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, this involves learning to save up cards to purchase a little house thingy, and then trading monopoly style with another player. I could not have predicted the way that good sportsmanship and the watching them develop into mature young people would make my mama heart sing.
I adore this part, and the sweet (sometimes sheepish) smiles that emerge as I beam down upon them.
What’s new and unexpectedly exciting in your family life?