The Age of Independence

This weekend we undertook some family fall projects.  It was really a lot of fun and provided a bit of perspective at the same time.

Fish is 8 and Mim is 4. Fish had just hit the age of independence when Mim was born and I can remember wondering what the hell I was thinking having a second child!  I wanted two kids for the kids’ sake, I was an only child and really missed that family connection.  Having them four years apart wasn’t my choice, but in hindsight I think that worked out for the best.  Even with four years between them, for me, two kids was a LOT of work.   Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for both of them, and to those who can, and choose to have more than two I say more power to you, but I am D-O-N-E done bearing children.

I love newborns, so snuggly and soft, but holly crow are they a lot of work!  Then they grow in to infants and toddlers and the work grows in some ways (they don’t stay put anymore). Now that Mim has really moved into that independent stage of life, I can really breathe a sigh of relief (It only took eight years). He is now daytime potty trained (WHOOP “O JOY).  He functions very independently (dresses himself, feeds himself etc. doesn’t need a nap) and plays blessedly independently.  That means that we can finally start scheduling our time as a family unit and not have to divide and conquer because he needs a nap or a diaper change and she is raring to go. The kids will always be 4 years apart, but the impact of the age gap on family operations has lessened greatly, so the breadth of activities we can attempt has increased exponentially.

This weekend we tie dyed t-shirts on Saturday and Sunday we went apple picking AND made 5 Gallons of apple sauce on Sunday.  Previously, I would only have dared tackle one of these activities in a weekend never mind all three.

My kids still need me, but as they grow, the need is more about guidance and direction than survival.  There was a time when I thought this stage would never come.  Yes, conventional wisdom says ”Enjoy them when they are young.“, and I think I did as much as I could, but I am finding I really prefer the interactions as they get older.  It is less about strained carrots and smelly diapers and more about living our values and having fun, and I like fun.


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