Slow Down Sweet Children, Slow Down

She leans against me, nursing, clutching my shirt, eyelids weighed down, as she drifts into her mid-afternoon slumber. How did she get to be so big, and yet, be so small at the same time? Still needing me, still baby-ish, yet, compared to her newborn brother, that big-ness of being the big sister…. how did that happen overnight?

My little one is pinking up, no longer carrying that newborn fleshtone to him. He’s acquired a little chub to his cheeks, but still has the very newborn squeaks, grunts and noises about him.

Every day passes where I’m feeling like time is not on my side, and they get bigger out of no where. He is no longer that curled up ball of newborn that looked like he could just fit right back into my belly again. She is no longer his size, and suddenly looks so much bigger than she did before he was born, though she isn’t.

My 4 year old asked for help getting his pajamas on, and I saw how the PJs that were saggy now fit him a bit better. He looks taller and more boyish.I see the baby slowly falling out of him.

My 8 year olds, more and more, shock me with brilliant things out of their mouths as they gain height. This weekend I had many opportunities to spend one on one time with them, teaching them Cat’s Cradle with their friends, finger weaving, and more. I catch them walking down the hall and I wonder how much longer I have of them being this size, this way, this perfect.

My 13 year old scares me with how woman-like she’s appearing, yet, I am so thankful she’s still so child-like as compared to others her age. She’s not in any hurry to be these other girls, thank goodness. That doesn’t stop her from being almost my height, though. Where’s my little girl gone?

Time is slipping away from me. All of my beautiful children are getting bigger, the days tick by, the seasons are changing, and I am trying to get it to slow down a little so I can savor them.

Why does it have to go so fast?

Song for a Fifth Child
The following is by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton and was published in the Lady’s Home Journal in 1958

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
and out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
but I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

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