The end of an era for my three boys

By Rebekah Schneiter,
Out Numbered Blog

I’ve felt out of the cave of the early years of parenting for a while now, and I must say it is quite glorious!  I don’t need a daily nap.  I feel like I get good time to myself, since my boys play pretty well together, and I haven’t purchased diapers for over a year. Everyone is able to communicate in English what they need and want, and we are out of the temper tantrum stage.  (No one does the stop-drop-and-roll in grocery stores.)  I’m counting this as a parenting victory, but it is also a sign of growing up.

The other day I realized that it had been months, maybe a year, since we had a little boy climb into our bed, snuggle down, and fall asleep for some good, early-morning-snuggle.  Those early mornings were anticipated and dreaded.  I never slept very good after one, two, or three little boys tumble in, but there was also something special about it.  Sadly, I forgot to be attentive to its end.  And truthfully although it caused me to be a bit nostalgic, I’m OK with it being over.

My oldest turns eight tomorrow.  Last night after his bath I placed a towel around his shoulder,s like we’ve been doing since his birth, and he made a request he hadn’t made for some time now, “Can you carry me like a baby?”  Perhaps he senses that this request will soon be impossible.  He’s much heavier and longer now, but I scooped him up in my arms, kissed his cheeks, and said, “I’m carrying you like a baby!”  We laughed.  It was our moment.

I think that I can officially state that the “short years” are over.  I wonder if my writing friend, Jen Rouse, feels the same.  She has a blog called The Short Years.  Does she feel like she needs to start another blog for the next stage?  The Middle Years?  The Crazy Years?  The Kid Years?  The Years When Our Kids Still Like Us?  That seems to be the years we are in.  We all like each other.  C announced with pure joy, “I really like A. He’s fun to play with.”  This pleases Dad and Mom much.  The older boys didn’t always view A as an equal play partner, but now that he’s a boy, he’s in!  B even stated, “Yeah A even comes up with good ideas when we are playing.”  Love it.
The Schneiter Boys seem to be right in the perfect middle of development.  They still play imaginary games, still play with trucks outside, but they also ride bikes, create forts, go on frog hunts, watch soccer with daddy, are learning to play the piano, are on sport teams, know how to swim, can make their own snacks, plan their own birthday parties, research toy purchases and save up….and find no interest in the opposite sex!  Love this part.  I’m hoping they are late bloomers and wake up to the beauty of girls later than earlier.  I have a feeling when this hits, Mom and Dad won’t be so cool anymore, and we will be entering a new phase: The Give-Me-Space-Stage.  I’m not ready for that one yet.

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