Seven Years Old! Wow. If we had only known back in those early years how much fun this was going to get! After spending what felt like forever wishing Jake and Eli would hurry up and grow, Mike and I now find ourselves wishing it could slow down and stay this way a little while. One day I came home from work and found this on the kitchen counter:
They are still our babies! A pretty perfect mix of Big Guy and Little Guy. We still dry them off after their bath at night with their monkey and frog towels, but now they move around more and we chase them to their room in a game of Booty Pinch. When they fall we dry their tears, and we still sleep sometimes on the floor in their room, but when it comes to Story Time now they read to us too!
Having kids this age makes us feel like we’ve accomplished something. It’s great, yet also full of change. In our roles as Mom and Dad we still influence their lives a lot, but we also see and hear the way this influence is now shared with the kids who ride the bus, and their friends at school. We know that the experiences shaping their thoughts have widened beyond Mom and Dad, to include the rest of the world too.
We’re adapting to our new roles as Explainers to the question “Why?”
God, heaven, life, death. Their little minds are taking it all in. Jake draws pictures of buildings, flags, and cannonballs with smiley faces, while Eli draws elaborate hot and cold water pipe systems, combines, and wineries with barrels to mash grapes. Jake is constantly playing with the iPad and reciting all the countries in the world, while Eli keeps asking where babies come from and examining things under his microscope. They are pretty cute dudes. Mike came home from work last week and found them in the living room.
“Hey, what are you guys doing?”
Watching your kids grow up means slowly letting go of feeling responsible for all the things they do, or don’t do. When they were little we parents could guide them when they were getting into trouble; messing with the toilet paper roll, throwing food on the floor, or eating too many cookies. Then we helped them learn to ride bikes and go to the bathroom alone, and somewhere along the way skills turned into tasks, like picking their clothes up off the floor or taking their dishes to the sink. Now the little steps to maturity are becoming things that they don’t need us for, like choosing their friends, picking out books from the library, and deciding when they’ve had enough to eat. It’s good, yet weird, to imagine that one day we will have no control at all over what they say and do.
And this is how it works, right? We give them love and equip them with what we can in these short 18 years that they’re ours, and then life is just wide open and waiting….
I have a beautiful Zambian friend named Charity. She tells me that in the Bemba language, I’m called “Mpundu,” which means “Mother of Twins.” She calls me Mpundu at work. She also taught me another saying, “Umwana Takula Kuli Nyina.” It means that children never grow up, that a child will always be a baby for their parents to protect, and that Mothers and Fathers don’t ever let go.
Let go of these guys?
Here is to a lifetime of adventures and fun still yet to come!