The other night, as I was working on the upholstery of another chair, I noticed that my back was hurting. It wasn't from the upholstering. Or maybe it was. What was so striking about it was that it was the first time that my back had hurt in a couple of months. Before that, I had been living with an aching back for the better part of 5 years. It was always there, sometimes worse than others. It kept me from sleeping. There were no pairs of shoes that made the ache any better.
My backache was from 5 years of being pregnant, having a baby, nursing that baby, getting pregnant again, having a baby, nursing that baby, getting pregnant, having a baby and nursing that baby.
Here I am, 3 pregnancies in four years behind me and the backaches are gone. Great!
Before I noticed that my backache was back (just for that one night) I was a little down about something else that I had noticed...this is the first time that I have had a child who is 18 months old without being in my 2-3rd trimester with my next child. It's not a major undertaking to crawl around on the floor and chase around the park and reach into the crib without my big baby belly getting in the way. Great!
This is hitting me really hard as I watch all three of my kids make leaps and bounds in their little developmental lives.
Anna Jane is a full-blown kindergartner. Her interest in reading and writing has exploded. So has her sassy little attitude.
During one of the first few weeks of school, she had a turn as the Student of the Day. Each child gets a turn and has to stand in front of the class and tell about themselves. They include things like who is in their family, whether or not they have any pets, and what kinds of things they like to do for fun. After they "present themselves" to the class, the children draw a picture of that student and write a sentence about that child. When she gave me the stack of pictures each student had drawn of her, I noticed that most pictures had a picture of a little pink dog. That afternoon a parent stopped me in the carpool line and told me how excited her little boy was when he told her about the farm that Anna Jane lives on. In the following days, 6 more moms relayed their child's awe over Anna Jane and the life she leads with her dogs and cows and sheep and pigs. And each mom mentioned how fascinating it is to think of Anna Jane swimming in the mud with her pig (the small pink dog I thought I saw in each drawing).
We had a little discussion and I prayed to God that her little exaggerations at age 5 will not prove to be foreshadowing a life of criminal activity.
She sounded out her first word the other night as we read her bedtime story.
But she also still calls her bikini a zucchini, so I know she doesn't know more than I do yet.
Wilson has transitioned into an independant preschooler in a flash.
He's not shy to call out my name and blow me a kiss from across the cafeteria, but there's certainly no separation anxiety. I think he shocked us all. Last week he visited my grandmother, Bobbie Quack. He impressed her with his angelic interpretation of This Little Light of Mine. Then he broke into a mean breakdancing routine which might not have been as impressive as the song was to a 77 year old retirement home resident.
But again, as he held up a small seashell to his ear and announced that he was listening to his earpod, I realized that his childhood hadn't completely flashed before my eyes.
Sweet Henry is not a baby anymore.
But he is more cuddly than the others and I think he knows that I need that from him. He is soaking up every moment of attention from his grandmothers who get him and him alone every day of the week. He is keeping up with the big kids and with Lucy, whom he refers to as Bubba.
Dave and I spent last Saturday night out of town.
This was the first time that we have left all three kids at home. They spent the day with their favorite-teacher-they've-never-had, Miss Jenny, and they spent the night with Nana and Papa.
Not one of them cried. And this time, I didn't cry either.
Emily is continuing our have-a-baby-every-two-year trend, so hopefully that will fill my hole. And I'm too busy putting in pigtails to be that sad about not being pregnant...