Sunday, August 28, 2011

Letting them be little...

I'll be honest... I have been awful at updating and keeping up with blogs lately. I feel bad because I love being on the "in" and knowing what you are up to and love keeping my own "family journal" up to date. Maybe, it's because it's Summer and life has been super busy... (With what? I'm still not sure.) BUT, now we are headed into Fall and it seems like it's only going to be busier.

I do have one blog that I am addicted to and absolutely love. It is Miss Shawni's blog at 71toes. If you aren't a current reader, trust me you'll be addicted and fall in love with her as I have. Besides the qualities of my own Mother and Grandmothers, she pretty much sums up all the qualities that I want/strive to be. I know I have a long way to go to be anywhere near how awesome she is... (even though she claims she's not.)

She is always giving the BEST advice on kids. I love the Q&A post she did here. I swear every time I read she answers a question that I have been pondering about with my own children. A lot of her great ideas come from her Mom (and Dad). (Who just so happened to found "JOY school." The pre-school Zenock has been in the last two years. We love the curriculum.) She and her Mom wrote a book called, "A Mother's Book of Secrets." I've read it twice and loved every minute of it. Now if only I can remember all the good secrets within it's covers every minute I parent.

Lets not forget to mention the pictures on her blog are beautiful and just plain gorgeous.

One thing that I have learned from all my reading of her blog and book is how important it is to let your children be little. Something I so often forget and at times find myself expecting so much from a four year old. I only have so much time with these little spirits and I want to enjoy them here and now. I want to remember their sweet little faces, happy smiles, laughter, and even maybe the way they look when they are really really sad.

So when Miss Shawni said she wishes she had taken more pictures of her with her children (esp when they were babies) I knew exactly what she meant. I am always taking the pictures, but I am rarely in the pictures. So as soon as I finished reading I grabbed the camera and Kamden and took a picture. Completely random - I know. But, I so want to remember these little moments and how sweet they were as babies. I remember feeling this way with Zenock too, but now even more with Kamden. I love the sweetness of a baby and just being able to cuddle him. I don't want him to get bigger. I want him to always be little. Maybe it's because I know what stages come next, terrible two's, even worse three's, and maybe it's the sassy, stubborn, defiant attitude of a 4 year old who is telling me no, not listening when I say, "Mind your manners," jumping off the couch, pointing laser nerf guns at my visiting teachers faces while I have had a horrible no good day and want to just bury my head in the couch because I am TOTALLY embarrassed and feel like I'm failing as a Mother.

I would keep my sweet eleven month old forever.

But then I would take my 4 year old on his sweet days too.

What I'm getting at is how much I love my boys (defiant attitudes and all) and just wish they could stay little, but since they can't I want to enjoy every minute of it and just let them be little.

Shawni has a favorite quote which also happens to be one of mine. I used it in a talk I gave in church 2 years ago when we moved to Alabama and have tried really hard to remember it since I found it. It kind of sums everything up.

"But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of {my children} sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in a hurry to get on to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."

-Anna Quindlen






Some of the pictures are a little blurry, but a little of life here at the moment.


Jamie said...

Carin- This is so funny...I am totally addicted to Shawni's blog- it is by far my favorite, and I think she is so incredible and has the best advice/ideas. I think you are pretty neat too!

Annie said...

love this post! enjoying my kids when they are little, and not wishing away their childhood is something that i need to work. i always find myself thinking that, when they are potty trained, or aren't throwing a million tantrums a day, or in preschool, things will get easier. but, then i realize that with age, only comes more complications and a loss of innocence. so, thank you for reminding me to enjoy they as they are now, in the moment.

Jake and Melissa Kinghorn said...

You forgot to mention who bought you that amazing amazing book!:) However I do owe you credit for introducing me to miss Shawni's incredible blog. I feel like I know each of her kids personally.:) I also love the fact that when I told mom about my obsession with the blog she told me she used to be obsessed with her mother Linda Eyre and gave me a couple of her books to read. I guess like mother like daughters!:) Have a great day and give those nephews of mine a big hug!