The experts and older mothers tell us that babies change so quickly. It is true that the newborn stage only lasts about a month before they turn into plump infants and before you can blink your eyes they can roll over, crawl, and take that first step. Timmy is my earliest walker, about 4 months earlier than Will. With that first child I was so worried because he hadn't started walking at 14 months, hadn't started talking at 30 months, hadn't learned to use the potty before he turned 3. Finally, with the confidence that children will eventually do all these things before they go to college, I get a baby who achieves these skills before "the books" says he should. Alleluia! I guess I needed some humble pie so I wouldn't feel like I was some sort of super-perfect-mom with super kids. What did I learn? That children develop on their own timetable, crawling, talking, or learning to read. Moms can help children learn to crawl by spacing Cheerios along the floor, they can read to their children daily and teach them phonics, but you can't force any it.
When Tim flies up next month to enjoy his short vacation and help get us all back to suburbia-land, he will see some startling changes in the children. Will is much more independent, able to ride his bike downtown and buy treats for his siblings at the mom and pop grocery store. He picks out his own books at the library, and makes his own friends.
Mary has become more motherly, if such a thing was possible, making little dollhouses out of drawn figures, and cooing at her new baby doll. Her sailing skills have improved and she is less shy than even 2 months ago.
Maggie fell, with bad scrapes on her chin and face in her first attempt to start her big-girl bike by herself. All summer I have heard, "Mommy, get me started!?" Any day now she will screw up the courage to try again and be zooming off down the street. She is also eager to do real school, though it mostly involves coloring and learning her prayers.
Charlie is now potty trained, but can't get his shorts up and down by himself. When I hear, "Mommy, need help going potty!" I drop whatever I am doing and race for the bathroom.
And little baby Timmy? He is toddling about, usually heading for the street or the stream bank, yesterday slipping at the edge and tumbling down onto the dry stones. No damage done, but a little developmental discernment would be appreciated. That will come in about 10 years, so I have a steady job until then - keeping these children safe and on the right course.
One day they will all be grown up and I won't have to worry about them getting burned on the stove, or falling off the dock. However, those older moms who repeat, "they grow so fast" say there will be other fears and worries involving cars, dating, and temptation into serious sin.
Sure, one day that will happen, waaaay off in the future. After all, I've been changing nappies every day for 9 years.