Thursday, August 09, 2007

Happy Birthday #3!!

Today is #3's birthday! She is turning 5 years old!

It's hard to believe that our youngest is already 5. It seems like it was just yesterday when she got out of diapers and at the same time if feels like it's been ages.

I'm amazed at how fast time flies. It's already hard to remember what it was like to have a baby around the house. The play pen, the high chair, the Exer-saucer are all distant memories. Pablum and Gerber's baby food, Pampers and Baby Wipes are all things of the past. All we have left are the photos.

When I look at the baby pictures of the older kids, I realize that a lot of the memories are starting to get a little fuzzy. I don't think I could even create a mental picture of what they looked like when they were toddlers and babies if it weren't for the photos. It's only been 9 years! Will todays memories be just as fuzzy in another 9 years? How much fuzzier will the baby memories be in another 9 years!? (Note to self: Backup our most recent photos)

Next month #3 will be starting Kindergarten so, in a way, this birthday marks the end of the pre-school portion of our child rearing experience. It is the end of an era for our family. Sometimes it seems like we are so busy living in today that these momentous occasions slip by unnoticed. Since 1998 we have always had at least one kid at home at all times. Although, at the present we can't imagine being in a house empty of kids, I'm sure there will soon come a time when we can't recall what that was even like to have someone constantly under foot.

As a parent I'm really excited to see the kids getting older and turning into real people but at the same time I kind of wish I could hold on to the little babies and toddlers that they used to be. I especially will miss the clumsy period when they were still just learning to walk. When a gentle breeze was enough to knock them down onto their diaper-padded butt. I will also miss trying to decode what they were trying to say when they were still learning how to speak. In reality I will miss it all.

So many times we would talk about how great it was going to be when the kids were out of diapers or able to walk or going to school. We spend so much time looking forward to what's on the horizon that we seldom take the time to appreciate the present. I guess it's true that, you don't know what you've got until it's gone. Looking back I realize how lucky I was to have gone through those pre-school experiences with my kids (poopy diapers and all). I'm glad I had the opportunity to enjoy it while I had the chance.

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