My kids keep doing this thing called growing, which is how I found the five of us yelling and screaming at each other on a Saturday morning while we were all trying to dress for synagogue. If you saw my family on Saturday, you probably didn’t notice that Isabella was wearing sandals that were exactly two sizes too big and that Josh’s too-small pants were both too short and held closed with a rubber band. You probably didn’t notice that I was wearing my dress backwards and that Josh’s rolled-up sleeves were rolled up because his shirt was a size 8 and he’s 11 years old. Suddenly Emily wears a size 6.5 shoe (my size!). Suddenly Isabella doesn’t have a single bathing suit that isn’t wedgie city. Suddenly my small son has become all gangly arms and legs. Suddenly they are huge.
We are a bit on the ragamuffin-y side these days, but like weeds these kids of mine.
Do they grow overnight?
I swear, it was just yesterday when they were this size. *Breaks into melodramatic weepy song from Fiddler on The Roof.*
I have been shooting a lot lately, which is just so wonderful. Babies, and toddler, and young kids—oh my! They have mostly been doing those things that young kids do, like run away from photos. We’ve had diaper blowouts mid-shoot, we’ve had donut breaks, we’ve had injuries, we’ve had tears, we’ve had screaming. Two times this week I was complimented on my patience with these wee ones. “I remember those days,” I always say with a sigh. “Kids are kids. What are you gonna do? So, we change the diaper, so we change the scenery, so we take a donut break.”
(I wish I had a quarter of this patience when my babies were this age.)
I just sit back and remember what that was like. It was so incredibly tiring and physically draining. There were a lot of tears back then. Theirs. And mine. (Also band-aids.)
It’s different now, their needs.
The dress themselves (with fights, usually)(in clothing that’s too small, of course), they potty themselves (with no fights, thank the good lord), they walk to and from school on their own (oh my god!), they don’t need me at the park to do anything other than hold their worldly goods and snap photos of them on the monkey bars, they take donut breaks but now I can send them on their own to bring back donuts and coffee.
Their needs are much more emotional than physical. We deal with words and how they affect other people. We deal with drama—so much drama. We deal with can I wear makeup and heels? We deal with eye rolls and door slams and the silent treatment instead of screaming. And, you know, the occasional ride to the mall or help with googling photos of rohypnol for a 7th grade health project.
So maybe I haven’t bought these children bigger clothing because I’m lazy and busy.
Or maybe I’m in some sort of denial about this entire growing up thing.
Because right now I am really missing my babies.
Just not the diapers.