things i'll miss

I get stopped several times a week by random strangers commenting on how much my girls remind me of their children twenty or thirty years ago. We make small talk for a few minutes, and before they turn around to walk away, they always look me square in the eyes and say, "You're gonna miss this someday. Soak it all in." Because I used to think they were only referring to the constant noise leaving those three small mouths, I'd shake my head and say, "Oh I don't think so. I just don't think so." But now as the years pass by rather quickly (much quicker than the days seem to), I'd be lying if I didn't admit I am going to miss so many things about these days. These are good days filled with so much innocent laughter, tears and curiosity.

In no particular order, I thought I'd jot down things I'll miss just as a record for myself. I'm hoping I can resort to this post on those extra hard days when I consider planting my child on the sidewalk outside with a sign that reads, "Free. Take her." ;)

--V always walking around in her panties. She was naked for most of the summer until I told her that she couldn't go to preschool if she didn't at least wear panties. She started wearing panties regularly that morning.
--Mya squishing Mr. Bear's ear into her nose every morning and night for comfort. The hair on his ears is forever stiff, and no amount of washing can change that.
--Mr. Bear as an integral part of our family. He comes with us everywhere, and I might just tear up the day Mya decides to shelf him like Andy did with Woody. If that ever happens, I think I'll plop him on my bed just for good measure.
--Elle whispering, "Mama, are you? Mama, are you?" from her crib each morning. If Tim gets her out of bed first, I always hear her say, "Mama? Mama?" And then she sees me lying there in bed, and her voice raises and she screams, "Mama!"
--All the girls easily accepting my hand to walk across the street or through a store or up the stairs or to swim across the pool. There is something so tender to me about the moment my hand meets one of theirs and I feel the dimples in their growing skin. I know there will come a day when they won't want to hold my hand, and I won't push it, but I know that day will make me sad.
--Listening to the girls laugh as they run through the halls chasing each other (or Blue...okay it's usually Blue). Elle tries to stay up with the other two, and the moment she catches them, they just squeal.
--Tickling Mya and Elle (V does not like to be tickled). I still chase Mya through the rooms of our apartment/house, and she loves it. I tackle her on the bed, and we'll tickle each other until our bellies hurt. I tickle Elle's belly every time she wakes up, and we roll back and forth on the bed until she lays her head down on my cheek and says, "Mo more mama, mo more." Then I surrender to her cuddle.
--Watching V walk slowly over to the pantry to sneak a few crackers. I'll ask her what she's doing or if she's hungry, and she always replies, "No, I'm just looking" with her mouth stuffed full of who knows what.
--Helping V fall asleep each night. The fact that she doesn't require sleep exhausts me. But I have given up on yelling at her at night (for the most part) because it does no good. Last night, she was still awake long after Mya had fallen asleep, and she was playing with her nightlight. I heard the constant clicking, and I walked in to find her resting her head against the wall pushing the button over and over again. I grabbed that squishy hand of hers and walked her around her side of the bed, and I sang her two favorites songs until her eyes started to get heavy.
--Checking in on the girls every night before we go to bed. Separately, Tim and I peek in on the girls to make sure they're both on the bed and in a comfortable position. I can't tell you how many times we will go in to find them cuddled up next to each other, in what looks like the most uncomfortable position, and we will separate them only to find them back together an hour later. Apparently, we have produced co-sleepers in this three-month apartment stay.
--Watching the girls jump into the pool without fear. All three jump in and swim around without any complaint. They are little fish, and I wish you could see their concentration when they are just about to attempt the "cannonball."
--Finding Elle lying next to, under, or on top of Blue. Those two were raised together and have a sweet affection for one another. I love finding them together.
--Helping Mya sound out big words. Mya is reading and spelling fairly well these days. Tim and I have resorted to speaking to each other in Spanish when we don't want her to know something because she can figure things out when we spell them. Helping her read is one of my most treasured memories in the making. We practice everyday, and she just amazes me with how smart she really is.
--Holding Elle before she goes to bed. Elle is still such a baby. Every time I put her to bed, she will lay her head on my shoulder, start twirling her hair and hum along to her favorite songs. I rock her back and forth, back and forth until the humming stops and then I place her in her bed. She looks at me with her bright blue eyes, and we whisper, "So much" to each other (meaning I love you so much). I tell her to close her eyes, and she squeezes them shut as tight as possible.
--Hearing the girls yell "DADDY!!" every time he walks through the front door. They love that man of mine so much, and it is one of my very favorite moments of everyday.

I figured this post would take me 10 minutes to write, and it's been an hour. I must stop, although I could go on. It's good to write all these memories down. It's therapeutic for me because although the special moments are sweet and lovely, there are also so many hard things that happen that often cause me to forget the good times. And these really are the good old days.

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