I think we're finally starting to enter the stage of childhood I've actually been waiting impatiently on for so long. I feel like we've turned the corner on big toddlers and moved on to full-out kid stage.
Much of this new stage has to do with the speech development over the past few months and to hear all of the things that are starting to come from their mouths is like music to my ears. They say funny things. They take things literally and have no filter (Isaiah especially). They say things that are so out of left field that you can't help but laugh at it all.
Last night they were taking turns playing a motorcycle video game that Chikezie plays, and I was seeing flash-forward visions of them as teenagers. He tells me he didn't teach them how to use the Xbox controller, they figured out how to do it all on their own. I watched them sit up so straight at the edge of the couch, pushing the buttons to steer the rider where they wanted him to go, looking down every so-often to make sure they were pushing the right button. I stared at them for a while, at their faces and posture. At the concentration and focus. They both looked so grown up.
This journey of motherhood for me has only been almost 5 years and it feels like a lifetime at the same time. I barely remember what they were like as babies. I remember a few details but forget the little things each one of them did through each stage. I used feel this need to document every single thing, to capture it, to write it out, to record it in every way I could think so that one day when my memory fades I'll have all of these stories to remember each and every day.
I've stopped having that feeling, and it's been replaced with the need to just be with them. There's no way for me to document how their hair smells when they wake up in the morning after a bath. I can't record Julian's voice when he runs to me when I walk in the door after getting groceries, jumps into my arms and yells, "I missed you!" and squeezes me for the next 20 minutes. I can't bottle up their giggles when laughing at an inside joke between them. I can't duplicate how smooth and fresh their skin still feels. I can only live it and be content with knowing that I might not remember it someday.
And on that someday, when my memory of this stage has faded, my memories will be replaced with new things I'll never be able to record. Like how their face will light up when telling me about a winning goal they scored at the game. Or how when they're all grown up and come home to visit us, I'll hug them and still feel those little boys I just completely drank in what seems like so long ago.