Another late night brainstorming session – some days the post-bedtime quiet is the only time I have.
It’s been different tonight, though.
My bigs have been fighting bedtime as the new school year inches closer. As they finally settled in, a part of my heart begged summer to slow down so that I can keep them near me just a bit longer. My #1 and #2 are excited and ready to go, and I’m thrilled for the new possibilities a new school year brings, but this mama heart is also nervous and a bit scared for the bumps and bruises that come along with navigating the outside world away from my protective shield. It’s hard, this parenting big kids thing. It’s hard. It’s easy in the summer, as I’m cheering them on as they attempt to master new tricks on the skateboard and as I kiss the scraped knees that inevitably come next. The waking up when we want, the picnic lunches, the trips to the park, the playing outside all day, the movie nights. Summer has been good to us. Maybe not too exciting this year, but so very good. I’m not ready for it to end. As I peek at them sleeping, I’m suddenly aware at how fast time is flying and I want to hold on tighter.
My littles hung close tonight, as they do most nights these days. We turned the lights off and cuddled on the couch. We smiled and laughed at the baby as she imitated her big sister, clapping when we yelled “Yay!” and giggling instead of going to sleep. My sweet #4, who regulates her sleep like a champ, crawled under a blanket when she began to feel tired. She asked me, as she does every single night, “Mommy, inkle ar?” and I sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to her. “Mommy, ine?” and I sang You Are My Sunshine to her. She rolled over and fell asleep.
My darling #3, who wasn’t feeling well, needed to sleep near me tonight, as she does most nights these days. She’s cautious and sensitive, always a bit anxious about changes. She feels safe when she can touch me as she falls asleep. So she laid down on the couch and put her feet on my lap. This precious girl, who is finding her independence and her courage a little bit more each and every day, finds comfort in my presence. She’s finding her voice because she knows she is safe and that she can count on me. I learn so much about how to be a better mother because of her.
Then my #5. She’s been fighting sleep lately as we deal with what appears to be teething. But tonight was, dare I say, a bit easier. She nursed to sleep and woke a bit as I laid her down, but quickly was lulled back to sleep as I rubbed her back. She’s 10 months old now. I don’t know how that happened. As her birthday nears closer, I find myself treasuring these baby days just a bit more, soaking up that baby smell, kissing those chubby baby cheeks, cherishing every second of her first year. I hold this baby so close to my heart. Her beginning was tough, and I don’t take her presence for granted, not even for a minute.
So here I am. All five kids asleep. Binge watching The West Wing on Netflix. Feeling inspired.
When I decided to start my own business and dive head first into this entrepreneurial journey, I did so with one big reason in mind – to be home with my kids.
My business has grown over the last two years, and I’m moving forward with plans to grow it further. I’m feeling inspired and bursting with ideas. It feels good when you are in alignment.
But that’s not all. There’s more to it. There’s bigger plans underway. Larger dreams. And it all comes back to the five little people that I put to sleep tonight, who I’ve gone to one by one to kiss their foreheads and check and see that they are breathing as I’ve done almost every single night for the last 11 years.
I may not have followed the path I had envisioned. I didn’t graduate college after four years. I didn’t go to medical school like I had planned. Nothing happened the way I thought it would.
But it happened just the way it needed to.
Five beautiful babies later and I am right on the path I was meant to be on.
And with that… goodnight. <3