Bittersweet milestones: Finding me again!
Today is a bittersweet a day, a finality as a milestone has come and now gone. For our family, early one, we did the family bed. It worked well for us and brought about an amazing bond. Amidst criticism and snide remarks like we were spoiling them, creating bad habits, letting them control us, not being "parent-directed" and creating dependency that would surely never end.
For the past 4 years we have 1 then 2 then back to 1 little one in our bed. We did the side car crib method to create more room and it was fantastic! It kept them close, which made nursing a breeze, yet gave them and us the space we needed.
For the past 4 years I had forgotten what it was like not to have a wee one with us. Around 2.5 years old David slowly began transitioning. We said we'd let them do it on their own, at their own pace to ease any fears or doubts they may have. And to continue to foster that trust with them that we had already built up. A little over David's 3rd birthday he was mainly sleeping in his own room in his own bed. He would come back to our bed in the middle of the night for a while. And then by age 3.5 he was completely in his room.
We have followed the same path with Aaron. About 2 months ago he became interested in David's bed, wanting to take naps there and then one night falling asleep there. We decided to see how he would do. I said if I heard him cry I would go to him and bring him back to us. No crying, but I was awakened by padding of little feet then a warm cuddly body. I looked at the clock, nearly 3am. He'd gone about 7 hours by himself. The next night the same thing, and the one after that, and the one after that. After about two weeks, he was fully sleeping through the night in his own space. It was time to put up his bed too!
So now we have a cramped boys room with 2 twin beds , and 2 happy boys who love spreading out all over the place! Sure they still occasionally come to us, mainly when they're sick or have had a bad dream. But for the most part, they both have made a giant leap into childhood!
And for the first time in 4.5 years we all are sleeping through the night. Something I never really worried about anyway, and now it seems so surreal that it's here.
And now a bittersweet milestone for me today. Making it truly final, we disassembled our side car crib and have no more 'baby beds' in our room. I worked this afternoon bringing back a touch of "femininity" to our room. A lace curtain, a bookshelf with decorative books, pictures and jewelry boxes...a nice lamp. [My mom was the wonderful one who gave me these things this morning! She's moving and let come to pick whatever I wanted from her home.] A fitting moment, "shopping" just for me! To make our room "adult" again. [Although Eric probably won't be thrilled with the French lace curtain ;) ]
The funny thing is I hadn't really missed that, knew it would happen again one day. And truly as I look back, these last 4.5 years have flown by. I'm actually reminded of a passage from scripture:
21 When Elkanah next took his family on their annual trip to Shiloh to worship God, offering sacrifices and keeping his vow,
22 Hannah didn't go. She told her husband, "After the child is weaned, I'll bring him myself and present him before God - and that's where he'll stay, for good."
23 Elkanah said to his wife, "Do what you think is best. Stay home until you have weaned him. Yes! Let God complete what he has begun!"
In a "spiritual" moment of prayer as I opened my bible, it literally fell open to this passage. It was fitting at that very moment because I had just returned from a "meeting" with someone who felt like I wasn't "parenting" correctly in the site of God. I was so hurt [not because of how I parent] because it was so out of line for a fellow believer, especially one not married and without children, to try to tell me what God thinks is best for MY life. I knew something wasn't right about that situation. So I went home and prayed and that's when I found this verse.
Immediately I knew that for "this season" I was to raise my boys and when Aaron weaned, that would be the time for me to...it is hard to find the right words for this...it would be time for me to "find myself" again.
Over the next months I forgot about this verse as daily life took over. And then when Aaron moved into his room, I was laying in bed one night looking at the side car crib, kind of in disbelief that it was all happening and I remembered that passage. And felt a sense of peace and readiness to take the next step. I knew my time had come. In the last 6ish months I've been feeling a huge pull anyway to do more, to work, to begin diving into 2nd calling [helping people, my 1st being a wife/mother]. And to me that is what this verse has said to me all along.
There would be a time for everything. At one point the children needed me solely, now as they have independence, I too am finding independence in a different way.
All things grow, move on and travel through time. There's nothing we can do to stop it, make it slow down or speed up...instead we follow the path, we cry in the frustrating moments and still give thanks. We rejoice in the happy moments, and give thanks. Time is truly so fleeting. And I am so thankful for each bittersweet milestone that has come and gone!
Myself, Aaron [at 1 day old] and David at 19 months old. It truly just seems like yesterday Eric was taking this picture in the hospital!
Making it my own again! Thanks mom for the wonderful things! Our room today!!
Our room as it looked wit the side car crib! I highly recommend this set up for those who want to co sleep! It's awesome, especially for 2 children.