Friday, November 25, 2011

Little Kids

So today I realized that I don't want my kids to grow up anytime soon. I would like to freeze them just as they are...tantrums, tears, drama, and all.

I know I think that quite a bit, but today it hit home harder than usual.

I took my little ones to a playground in our neighborhood because they were driving me nuts in the house. They ran off to swing, climb, and well, just run while a pretty large group of older kids hung out and played as well. These big kids - a whopping 9-12 years old - were hanging out on the swings and around the equipment. Talking to and mocking each other. Some boy said something rather mean to a girl and she shouted back numerous times, "I WILL beat you you if I have to!"

The mommy in me wanted to break up this spat (which didn't get physical) and send the kids playing and sharing happily and peacefully.

But no, these weren't my kids. They weren't even being supervised by any adult. These kids were on their own.

It made me turn back to my kids. I pushed D on the swing. C climbed a really tall piece of equipment and made me nervous.

I realized that I never want her (or D) to be one of those kids exchanging words unsupervised on the playground. I want to shelter her under the safety of my wings for as long as possible.

Maybe thats not the best method. Maybe thats not teaching her how to "live in the real world" but truthfully, I don't care. The world didn't birth her. The world hasn't poured every last ounce of effort, love, and devotion into her.

I have.

And I think I should have a say in her life.

And I think I should be able to shelter her if I want to.

After a little while, I got tired of listening to the tween drama next to me and I instructed my kids to come play on the little kid playground off to the side. They ran off together and played on the seesaw. Then they raced down a set of matching slides over and over again.

We eventually left and headed back towards our house. They raced to a wooden swing and back to me as we wandered homeward.
Obviously, C won by a landslide, but she casually said as D came trailing behind her,
"Whoever comes in last is the winner."

My heart leapt.

How is it that she is so kind and thoughtful towards her little brother?

He simply shrugged and replied,
"I know. I won..."

He played it cool but I know he was beaming. These days, all he wants to do is race. We race other cars on the road when we drive - well, not REALLY race...he just thinks we are. They race to see who can get undressed for the bath the fastest, they race up the stairs, etc.

C wins every time. To him, winning is big. And he had jut "won" thanks to his gracious sister.

I praised her and validated her kindness.

We stopped at yet another set of swings close to our home and I let them swing off some more energy without the distraction of other older children.

I pushed D and C pumped.

D said, "I'm going HIGH!"

C followed up with,"I'm going high too. I can almost touch the trees!!!"

She then closed her eyes as she swung as if to will herself higher into the sky.
"but I'm being careful...." she added. She knows me, a safety nut, so well.

I tried to soak her in. Soak them both in as they swung. And giggled. And squealed as I ticked their feet.
It made me realize how thankful I am to have these little kids who are not ashamed to play like little kids. They aren't trying to be cool. They aren't trying to impress.

C isn't embarrassed to be seen with, play with, bathe with, and snuggle with her little brother.
In fact, they are the best of friends. They love each other to no end.
And that is why I love having little kids. And I wish I could freeze them at this age forever!
I should note that I didn't actually have my camera with me for most of this outing. It wasn't until I stood pushing D on the swings when I was trying to soak every bit of them in that I actually called B and had him walk my camera out to me. After he delivered it, I begin photographing the kids.

My mind just wasn't doing justice. I was too afraid I'd forget.

Forget their smiles. Forget the hole in C's leggings and her big clunky tennis shoes, forget D's yellow crocks and rolled up blue jeans. I was just too afraid I would forget it all.


  1. I loved this post...esp. the picture of C with her eyes closed and the one of the two of them swinging together, and racing...I guess I loved them all! Can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

  2. What a great perspective and lesson on enjoying each day. :) And of course, great job capturing the moment. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I understand every word, and have wanted that exact same thing. Every day. I want my children to stay little forever. Your words are beautiful, and so are the pictures!

  4. I love how you put all this into words! I think about my boys growing up everyday! I want to shelter them too! I see how influenced Michael is by the other kids around him and I don't want him soaking in things he shouldn't! I even think about homeschooling - crazy I know! :)
    You are blessed with three precious children!!