you know, when i first had blake i couldn't wait for him to get older. i kept thinking how much easier it would be when he wasn't a baby, or a toddler anymore. how when he could do more for himself, and be less "needy" this whole parenting thing would get less demanding.
i was an idiot.
it doesn't get easier as they get older. it gets different. it gets tougher. sure, feeding them might be easier and you don't have to help them go to the bathroom anymore. but you know what gets harder? everything else. because they start being put into positions where they have to make tough decisions. they have to start thinking for themselves. they start having consequences for their actions. the peer pressure begins. they start growing up. and the minute they start doing that, your job as a parent gets more intense. this is when the answers you start giving to the questions truly start to matter. because they not only listen to what you say, but they actually do (or don't do) what you tell them.
it's so funny how much pressure we put on ourselves as parents to be there for our kids when they are babies. when the truth is that our babies could probably spend the day with their aunt from kansas twice removed, and be perfectly fine. babies don't need much. don't spaz out, you know what i mean. they need fed and changed and napped.. and of course it's wonderful to spend time with them. they're so defenseless and tiny and everything is a new experience for them that it's amazing to watch. i get it. i've been there. but i think that our kids really need us as they're getting older. when life around them starts to get challenging. and scary. (and please don't make me talk about the homework) we take all this time off of work when our kids are first born, as if that's the only time it matters that we're around. as if they really need us then. but in all honesty, i think it's US who needs them. because we feel guilty if we're not there. and we don't want to miss out on anything. not the other way around.
i look back at blake being a baby and truly think that wasn't the time he needed me to be there for him. i see him now and it kills me to not be there. you know? and this is just the beginning. i know that with jr high and high school i'm just going to feel this more. those are all critical years. i realize you can't stop your kid from making mistakes and learning and growing. i just think it's so interesting the pressure and demands we put on ourselves to be there for our children when they are non decision making infants. and how when it's probably better for us to be there for our kids, we're not. all i know is that i take full advantage of those mornings blake hops into bed with me and talks my ear off. and those nights where he starts to really talk about the things on his mind. i don't care that he's completely avoiding going to bed- when i get him to talk, i take it. cause i know that possibly someday (sooner than i would ever like) that may stop.