Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Always fit perfectly

It's spring. In Virginia.

Since we moved here 3.5 years ago, we've found that once March rolls around, you can count on beautiful weather. Not like where we grew up in Western New York, where there is always a threat of snow up until mid- to late-April.

It's great. The kids head out to play after school, we open the windows and air out the house daily, and we get out the summer clothes...

After three pregnancies in three years, I have been hitting the gym hard in hopes of also hitting the beach with confidence. Okay, not necessarily confidence...but at least some level of comfort.

I pulled out the bin of "too small" clothes the other day. Thankfully, some of them fit. Others, well, I wouldn't want to wear even if they did fit. I can't believe I wore so many tiny halter tops back then...
Some things aren't meant to fit mamas forever.

But yesterday, while driving home, Levi fell asleep in the car. As I lifted him from his carseat and his relaxed body snuggled into me, he reached up and held tightly onto my neck. When we reached his bedroom, I waited a moment before laying him down.

I loved the way he felt in my arms.

He's the size now where, when holding my neck, his little bottom fits perfectly into my folded arms, right below my chest and above my tummy. He's still light enough to hold for quite some time. His face fits perfectly into the crook of my neck when I lean my nose down to smell his hair.

My sweet almost-two year old.

That afternoon, I took some time with each kid to appreciate their size and how perfectly they all still fit into my arms. Nadia's tiny enough to feel good nomatter how you hold her. You can stick her on your hip with her butt on the inside of your elbow and tickle her toes all with one arm. She still fits just right in my arms for nursing. At 8 months, she'll be done with that soon, so I'm trying to cherish every moment I can.

Avery (3) is big enough now that she can completely wrap herself around me when I hold her. Once or twice a week, she wakes up to potty in the middle of the night. When she's done, she always wants me to carry her back to her bed. I don't mind, for one reason: her sleepy body snuggles right up against me on that 20-foot trip back to her bed.

My big kids are another story. I can't carry them around anymore. But Emily (9) is a great hugging height for me right now. Her head aligns just right with my shoulder, so I can tuck her in and squeeze her. She knows better than to think she's too big for hugs.

Kaleb (7) and I have a secret code phrase that he says when he just needs to be held, although he'd die if people knew what it meant. If he's having a rough day, all he has to do is look at me with those big blue eyes, say the phrase, and I'll have a seat and plop him on my lap. The world will stop for just a few moments, and no one else knows what in the world those silly words mean.

Oh, how I wish that I could go back to when each of my kids were tiny babies and savor them at that age. But one of the amazing thing about having a bunch of kids, born one after another, is that I get to experience hugs and holds of all stages.

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