There is something about the last few minutes before bed or a nap. This little one is so snuggly. She will back peddle, scootch right into my lap, and look up at me. She lays her head back for a moment and sniffs her blanket. I know she is beyond tired, but these precious few minutes are so sweet that I allow her to linger. Perhaps, it is her way of procrastinating, but it reminds me of when she was a tiny baby and wanted to be held all the time. I notice her wanting to do everything on her own now and it is these quiet moments that I don't ever want to forget.
Pinky is her comfort when she is tired. All three of our children have a blanket they use when they sleep. Our oldest has a scrap of his, but after 6 years, he still sleeps with it. The many nights, naps, and trips out when they were too tired or sick to leave their beloved blankies at home. I know this sole pink blanket will be ripped and shredded very soon. Replacements will be ordered. Pinky has gotten us through the last days of nursing, fevers and teething, and sleeping on trips away from home. It smells just like her.
It is so hard to believe that 18 months have passed since she was born. Days are not perfect. There are tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants. But, she turns it on before bed. She scampers out from the bathtub and lies right on the floor, ready to be dressed in her jammies. I know she is exhausted. It's tough keeping up with two older brothers all day. I pick her up and she leans her little head against mine and pats my shoulder with her tiny hand. It melts my heart. I lay her down in her crib. She snuggles up with Pinky and gives me a very enthusiastic "Bye-Bye".
Maybe it's because I know this is our last baby, I am hanging on to every single memory. I keep trying to etch these moments into my brain or write about it so I don't forget these sweet memories. Maybe I'm just getting older and it's hard to remember anything! As they grow, we also grow as parents. We become more observant, more patient. I am learning to find comfort in the tender moments, amidst the chaos of the day, and know that although it seems they are growing much too quickly, we are all growing together.
Photographed on film.
I remember 8th grade being such a unique and transforming year. The feeling that the end is near, but to believe that end is a new beginning, is hard to fathom. It's a huge step moving from middle school to high school. There is the physical transition to a new school and all of the emotions that follow. Friends moving to different schools. Feeling sad to move in a different direction. Excited for the new relationships this journey will bring. Learning more about subjects you never thought you'd care about and learning so much about yourself along the way. It's a beautiful and emotional time. These young people, our daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, grandchildren...they will all go through it. My children may not be at this age yet, but it is coming all too quickly.
I remember thinking no one could understand. Being an adult now, I know that I really can't understand. Things are very different for every generation. Sure, some of the struggles will always be the same but I know it was sometimes hard for me and some days may be the same for them. Growing up and knowing it. It's a wonderfully fun and incredibly scary thing. I may not always understand, but I can listen. My hope for every young person is that they know they are smart, kind and brave. I hope that we give them the tools and confidence that they will use to succeed. They may be fearless or fearful, but they are the future. They are our future. I truly believe that they will be better, for they have to be. They are ours.
Meet Mary's newest addition! Baby Kate!
I finally got to meet her when Mary and her family came to Florida for a visit last week. It was worth the wait. But, she is so much bigger now!! Kate is such an adorable little girl and she is so good! She sleeps through the night and most of the day and only cries when she's hungry. This one, is a baby dream. We had six kiddos playing and sleeping under one roof and this sweet newborn was, by far, the best sleeper of the bunch. Her big sister and brother already adore her and Tess was fascinated by this tiny person that was smaller than her. She learned the word "baby" while Kate was visiting and she would point to Kate and excitedly scream, "Baby, baby, baby!" There were probably a few pokes in there too, as she was very enthusiastic about the baby.
Mary took these portraits! I'm so proud of her!! Book your sessions now..hehe! :)