3.5 has been easy on us. I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about why it feels this way. It shouldn't feel easy. They're louder than they've ever been. They are more opinionated than they've ever been. The messes, the fights, the back talking, the lack of listening - all crazier than ever.
I finally realized it is us, me and Jon, that have made it easy. When the boys turned 3, I realized this is it. This is my one shot at having kids and it is going too fast. They are growing up and growing away from me, a little more every day.
The epiphany came from my mother. My mom has always called me her baby, and as a teenager it drove me crazy (sorry mom, I'm making it up to you by writing about your grandkids every day). Why couldn't she see I was a mature woman? In the last few months, when I call the boys "my babies" they shoot back, "I am not a baby!" Now I understand that no matter how old they are, I will always think of them as I first knew them, as my sweet precious babies.
Now I start each day thinking about how I can make it a great day with the boys. Now I think about how I can say yes to their crazy ideas. Now I think about what really matters. I know some of this wisdom has come from my skin cancer experience this year. Some of this wisdom has come from maturing. But mostly this wisdom has come from the boys themselves. They give so much more to me when I am open to them as they are, as loud as insane as it may be.
From now on, I may call them my boys but secretly, they will always be my babies.