It didn’t seem so long ago that I was blogging about my toddler boy and my newborn, but that was over a year ago. I looked at my boys playing together the other day and I realised I really can’t say I have a toddler and a baby anymore. My baby has become my toddler and my toddler boy is now a fully fledged preschooler and it reminds me how quickly life rolls on, stages upon stages until I imagine a house full of teenage boys and a gigantic grocery bill.
The toddler boy relishes getting his own back now, but is just as likely to give his big brother a sloppy kiss as a bop to the head. The big brother is prone to acts of defiance with a swinging arm, but can be heard saying ‘sorry bubba Hugo’ when the crying starts. They are loud, cheeky and some days it feels like I’m constantly breaking up fights, sharing out toys and saying ‘leave your brother alone’ while silently counting down the hours until bed time.
But when I see them seated side by side playing, big brother with a protective arm around little brother my heart grows lighter and I think how could I possibly wish these days away – the perfect chaos of it all. So I surrender to the craziness, to my dirty floors and clothes with the peanut butter hands and the snot wipes and try and let it be. Because it won’t be like this forever. My voice still raises and I sometimes despair at the mess, the mess, the relentless mess. But I am human, I am not perfect and will never be but I try to give them the best of me. I love and I teach them to love. I hug them tight and teach them to hug each other tight. I forgive, so I can teach them the beauty and lightness of forgiveness.
And in doing all of this, they are teaching me – patience, kindness and carefree fun. The unexpected moments of joy that seep into an open heart.