I responded, saying "wonderful. And overwhelming."
The other day, I was in a room that is hidden from the main hallway, and from my vantage point, I could see and hear the children, but they could not immediately see me if they didn't go into the second room attached to the one I was in. First Alice went by (presumably looking for me), then Danny went by (definitely looking for me), and I could hear Jill calling for me.
My kids are all at ages where I am pretty awesome. I am the creator of fun and good times. They always want to be with me, and if they ever aren't wanting to be with me, then I can be sure one of two things: 1. they are on the computer or 2. they are doing something they shouldn't be doing.
It is pretty overwhelming. To be so needed. To be so loved. To be so important. To be so everything.
I reflect on how, at the beginning, they were dependent on me for everything. I met every single one of their needs, all their physical needs. They were literally a part of me. Then they were born, and I still met all of their physical needs. Every year, they detach from me more, needing me less and less.
This thrills me and simultaneously depresses me.
Also depressing is that I will also probably become less cool every passing year as well. I will probably never be more awesome in their eyes than I am now.
I will enjoy being able to go to the bathroom without interruption or audience. But I will really miss being the center of their world. I know it has to happen—a large part of my purpose as a mother is to help them grow to be independent so they don't need me. But still . . .
I take comfort in the knowledge of how much I still need my mom and dad. Hopefully my kids will be the same way. But that also is a little overwhelming, how it never ends. I made the decision to bring these sweet souls into the world, and my responsibility toward them because of that decision will never end. Ever.
Anyway. A lot of emotions. Mostly due to the fact that 2014 has finally come. 2014—the year that Jill starts kindergarten. Perhaps I should have sent her to preschool instead of doing it at home. Not because it will make it easier for Jill (she'll be fine), but because perhaps it would have made it easier on me.
Gah. I still have months of enjoying her company. I'll focus on enjoying them rather than dreading the imminent separation between myself and my firstborn. (Jill refers to herself as the firstborn sometimes, and I think it is hilarious.)
One of our kind, generous new friends here lent us two scooters for Jill and Daniel to use. Well, the two big kids do love to play with them, but surprisingly, Alice does, too! She holds on when Jeff and I push her around, and she climbed onto this one all by herself today. (That is not a bruise on her leg; it is a smudge on the camera lens.)
January was very dry with talk of drought and possible water restriction, but February has been giving us all the rain that we were supposed to get in January. The weather is still warm even with the rain, and the kids love playing in it.
I looked everywhere (I thought) for my flip flop today, and I could not find it anywhere. I asked around, but Jill and Daniel did not know, so I resolved that it must have been Alice and that I would probably never see it again, because I truly had (so I thought) looked in every imaginable place. Later, when I needed to go to the bathroom, I discovered its location. I never thought to look there!
It is almost Carnival time in Brazil! The embassy had a party today, and Daniel really liked his Carnival mask. He also really liked the samba music. (I bet you wouldn't have guessed that he could wear a pair of Jeff's shorts!)
Jill and some new friends dancing to the samba music at the Carnival party. Jill was excited to have a mask just like in "Rio" (that cartoon with the birds and Carnival.)
*Our children love their daddy a lot, but they are often rather clingy to me, especially when they are upset.