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Big Kids

April 19, 2018 - Stacey Sacco
Occasionally, I get a moment when I am able to step back and see the moment that is happening as one to remember. The ability to see past the chaos and stress of the moment to see the big picture is not something that comes naturally to me. My brain almost always skips over the present into what needs to be taken care of next. But sometimes I can remember to enjoy the moment and savor it just as it is- imperfections and all.

We went out of town for spring break. Just a small trip to enjoy the extra days off. As we wandered through the Cincinnati zoo one afternoon, I realized I have big kids- and that I like it.

There was the normal craziness of taking four kids anywhere, but there was a moment that the kids were peering into a bear den that I realized, I don’t have babies. All four were standing at the glass- no strollers or carriers. They all wore or carried their own jackets. There were no diapers or giant diaper bags with multiple changes of clothes “just in case.” I carried one small bag for the whole day, mostly because I needed a place to put my phone.

Each kid walked through the whole zoo. They ate regular food. They told us when they needed to go to the bathroom and could wait until we found one. They communicated clearly when they were hungry or needed a break.

That moment of watching my kids all enjoying the same thing changed the way I see my life. I thought I would miss babies. I still love holding a baby, but I’m learning to love that my life does not revolve around breastfeeding, nap times and exhaustion from sleep deprivation. I like that they all understand when I tell them not to walk into the street. We enjoyed several days away from home without feeling like we needed a semi truck for all the equipment.

The world has opened before my eyes. There are so many new possibilities for travel and activities and experiences. We’re on the cusp of having a crew of kids tall enough to ride all the amusement park rides and able to stay up past their bedtime for adventures. No longer do I have to stay at home with a baby because they are too little or too tired or can’t walk for a long time. Each one of them can enjoy an activity and not just be drug along to a sibling’s outing.

We’ve even passed the in-between stage where a toddler wants to walk and direct his actions but is completely unable to follow directions or keep himself safe. When I tell them to stop, they generally do.

So I stood there while my kids watched a bear play with a plastic toy. And instead of feeling sad or nostalgic like I thought I might, I was excited. I thought of all the fun things that are waiting for us. I could picture all the experiences I’m ready to share with them. I thought about packing up the last of our things from our seemingly-permanent spot in Baby Land and moving on. Making room for others to enjoy that sunny spot and knowing that there are good things at the next stop as well.

 
 

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They walked the whole zoo and enjoyed it!!