I snapped a picture of our kids on the weekend and after I took it, I couldn’t stop staring at it. They all looked so old. How can those be my babies? It wasn’t posed, they weren’t dressed up – they were just goofing around having fun carrying each other around the house and it felt like a fun moment to capture.
Maybe it was doubly impactful because lately it feels like the kids are hitting milestone after milestone. It’s interesting how that changes as they get older. I have everything logged in their baby books from their first few years – first smile, first tooth, crawling, walking, first bite of food, first time they stayed with a babysitter, first words – those milestones are captured forever. As they get older, the things I’ve been noticing are different.
Our almost-five-year-old is a great example. In the last few weeks she has suddenly started drawing things that look like actual drawings. In the summer we were still doing the, “oh my goodness, it’s beautiful, tell me more about this picture” in order to fully understand what she was showing us. Now her people look like people, her trees look like trees and her houses look like houses. Colouring is starting to stay in the lines (when she feels like it) and art has become a whole new thing for her. What I find particularly interesting is that unlike our oldest, her people look exactly (and I mean exactly) like my people looked when I was her age. Bodies look like ladders, hands are circles with about 10 lines coming out of them (more like a sun) – it’s pretty neat to look at her work and be reminded of pictures that I’ve seen that I drew when I was five. Being able to understand her art work without asking definitely makes her seem older to me.
Also on the ‘new kind of milestone’ path is our seven-year-old daughter. On Saturday the kids sat down to write their letters to Santa to bring to the Parade of Lights. I looked over at her and she was struggling with her list – for the first time ever. I asked her what was wrong and she said, “Mom, I don’t really play with toys very much and so I wrote that I want an iPod <insert ‘yikes’ from Mom and Dad here> but if there’s no toys and Santa has a toy shop what else can I put down?” So this year, Santa got his first letter from our house with some very specific clothing requests and an electronic device as gifts. It just feels weird. And scary. And old.
So thankfully we still have our two-year-old son who rounded out the Fall of milestones with a traditional and baby book type of accomplishment – potty training. It’s amazing and wonderful and have I mentioned how ridiculously cute little boy underwear is?? We have been buying and changing diapers for seven years. Taking an average of six diapers a day, at the very minimum that’s 15,000 diapers. FIFTEEN THOUSAND DIAPERS! And now it’s done. He’s now officially a little boy who runs around in underwear and goes to the potty when he needs to.
It’s amazing how much one picture can make you think. Maybe that’s why I love taking pictures so much. Watching them grow up and do new things is what I live for and I’m realizing more every day that photos are a wonderful way to reflect and remember how far they’ve come (in such a very short time).
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller