Monday, November 14, 2016

Three Under Four: The Halfway Point

My stint as a mama with three under four is officially 50% over.

Every time I leave the house I am pummeled with comments and advice. I’ve been heavily offended and I’ve had my heart touched. I’ve heard that it only gets worse from here and that I just need to hang in there because once this first year is over it’ll all be bliss.

I tend to believe the latter. Not only because it gets a little easier as they get a little more independent and communicate a little more, but also because as certain things slow down I’ll have the time and space to step back and savor more. I say this as someone who has ever experienced it but is making a serious attempt to not be na├»ve or see the grass on the other side as something greener than it really is.

A tiny part of me of course worries from time to time, what if the first group of people are right? What if this is the easiest part of my life? Children who quietly excuse themselves to use the restroom will of course be less physical work than those whose diapers only barely do the trick, but those in diapers are also blissfully free of any big problems like sex, drugs, drinking, bullying, academic stress, oh gosh…

I like to hope that maybe I have earned the right to easy teenage years? No, really. Don’t laugh. In just over five months I have slept basically not at all. I have endured five rounds of three-kids-with-a-cold, two stomach bugs, one frantic call to Poison Control, one trip to rule out a broken bone, lots of appointments to deal with an actual broken bone, gallons of bodily fluids including vomit and projectile spit-up, and the beginning stages of potty training.

Then again, I’ve also enjoyed hugs, snuggles, kisses, giggles, and “Mom? You’re my best friend” at least one hundred times. I’ve heard that I’m pretty and I’ve heard that I’m loved nearly every day for the past five months. I’ve watched smiles appear and I’ve watched eyes light up. I’ve witnessed each of my three children growing and developing. I’ve watched them learn and change. I’ve watched them play together and learn from each other. I’ve watched them fight and make up and I’ve watched the older two dote on the baby sister they just can’t get enough of. 

If this is as good as it gets, I’m okay with that. I’m okay with it if these beautiful five months are the prettiest and easiest part of my life because man, have they been great. In some ways it’s hard to imagine it possibly being any better than watching my husband rock a baby to sleep or than being myself, my actual self, and three young people being not embarrassed or annoyed but enamored. Enamored!

Maybe this is the most chaotic part of my life and maybe I haven’t seen anything yet. But the reality is, this is probably the most loved I have ever been or will ever be. 

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