In six days my oldest daughter, Karis, will be seven years old.
I never imagined my kids getting older. I imagined myself with babies and maybe toddlers or preschoolers. I imagined myself with kids that hold onto me tightly as if all of their love can only be given to me. I especially imagined myself with the kids that don’t talk back, disrespect me or disagree with what I say. The ones who are kind to others all the time, love to share their belongings and look for ways to complement their friends. Oh, and did I mention that their clothes always matched, were clean and their hair perfect?
Yeah… and then I became a mom. All of my hopes and dreams for my kids are turning out to be different in the reality of their life. Yes, I want all of those things for them, but sometimes I have to let Karis walk out of the house in her floral shirt, plaid skirt (“but they both have blue in them, mom!”), and striped socks… complete with ugly shoes. I have to hug her as she gets off the school bus crying because her best friend was ignoring her. I have to remind her again to share with Avery.
But I also get to take joy in watching her ride her new big bike! I get to throw her a fun tea party for her birthday and see what sweet friends she has learned to make on her own. I get to watch her let Avery sit next to her at the birthday table instead of one of her friends, and share her new toy with her (who now thinks it’s been given to her).
Parenthood is everything and nothing that I thought it would be… but I love it. And I love my beautiful baby that is growing up on me.