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April Jeppson: Wow, how fast my babies are growing up

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

Snuggled up and watching TV the other night, my youngest decided that it would be more enjoyable to watch the show upside down. Her head is on the ground and her feet are in the air swaying back and forth, and she’s oblivious to Brian and I watching her. She is 7, but every once and awhile I get a glimpse of her as a toddler. I flash back to all the goofy things my kids used to do when they were little, and then it hits me. My kids are growing up.

April Jeppson

I understand that my kids are technically still little. I do not have any high schoolers in the house, and their bedrooms don’t smell completely of dirty feet. I’m not arguing about inappropriate clothing or grounding anyone for staying out past their curfew. I thankfully still have a little bit longer before I have to have these conversations.

However, my days of changing dirty diapers are over. Just to be clear, I am not sad about this at all. There are certain things about being a parent of littles that I’m not going to miss. Finding a rouge milk bottle behind a crib was one of my least favorite activities. Then seriously pondering if I could contain my gag reflex in order to wash it, or if I should just throw it away. How about potty training? Also a game of “is this worth the effort to wash this, or should I just throw it away?”

I’m also not going to miss my littles running away from me in public places. I opted out of a lot of activities due to the fear that I’d have a runner. My son thought it would be fun to play hide and seek with me in Walmart. He was laughing and running. I turn around, and he’s nowhere. I calmly (but quickly) turn the aisle, and still nothing. I walk many aisles and absolutely no sign of him. That is when the panic hit, and I had to ask an employee to help me find him. While I’m in the grocery area, he had successfully made it all the way to the automotive department, grinning the whole time. Yeah, I’m not going to miss that one bit.

I’m going to miss the silly things that toddlers do and say. The crazy stories of a 3-year-old. The absolute seriousness in their face as they explain to you about how they are a momma, too, and their babies are stuffed animals.

Thankfully, I’ve raised three children who love to snuggle. So my fingers are tightly crossed that I will be able to enjoy this for many years. I’m also thankful that my kids are imaginative, bright and fun to be around. I know that even when I’m struggling with my soon-to-be teenagers, that we will have fun moments sprinkled in there, too.

So although a wave of reality hits me from time to time about how fast my babies are growing up, I’m not going to let that take away the fun of today. I’m thankful for a perspective that allows me to enjoy each period of their lives as it’s happening. I might not be playing This Little Piggy anytime soon, but I can go outside and enjoy a game of Frisbee with them.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.