Lo Lo has a new little bed. We took down her crib today after talking about it all week. She has been climbing out of it for a while now and I didn't want her hurting herself, so down it came. It will likely take some time before she adjusts to the change. This is the first time our house has been cribless since Andrew was born. I know, all you good parents are out there thinking "wow, first time in 18 years- that must be a memorable day!" and you're right. But there was something more to the week then just the crib.
Peter also has a new-girl-friend. I don't want to put down a new 'girlfriend' ( note the subtle difference in spacing) because that would imply something I am clearly not ready for. It really struck me when he updated his facebook status.Actually, it was a giant curve-ball. He has liked other girls before, and they have even liked him back, but something is different here. I can see he is growing up ( you'd think that might have hit me when he actually grew taller than I am, but mothers are notoriously slow learners). I also think he is very young and doesn't need to be thinking too hard about relationships at this point in his life, but my thoughts are not likely to stop his thoughts from taking place.
I found myself struggling with the whole idea of how to handle this well. I tend to be very opinionated and even a bit strong at times. I don't fancy that is going to be the best way of moving forward.Gentle guidance will have to rule the day. I am not worried about how he will handle himself or if his value system will hold up in all the right places. And that is not because I don't know he is human or I think him above all that, but simply because I am certain he is human and not above all that- and have spent the last 16 years of his life trying to impact him with that reality to which he happily seems to be catching on (and it probably doesn't hurt that I am slipping Andy and JP money on the sly to keep an extra close eye on their brother when they're out).
In every way I enjoy Peter. He is funny, and kind, thoughtful, and good-natured. He spends loads of time with us and loves his younger brothers and sisters to pieces. He is such a pleasant human being. I've grown so accustomed to him. And somehow in the last week between school work, and housework, packing away Christmas decorations, and a simple facebook status update; I feel like he took one step further away from us. Yes, just a small step, but significant none the less. And I see it unfolding over time and what will come next- and a path appears on the horizon that I always knew would, but just didn't expect so soon.
The days that come at us powerfully like this one, are never really ones we can prepare for. We think on them, and pray on them, and hope they will go well; but when they arrive we are in the midst of life and work and taking down baby cribs- and they sneak into our world a new reality that tells us time has been passing. And it has. And the little feet thumping down the halls are not the ones we imagine them to be. My heart might remember those footsteps as Andy's or Pete's but my eyes see big brothers scooping up their baby sisters in arms far too large to belong to mere boys. Memories so powerful they trap me in time and hold me there to love a little boy no matter if he is playing with his trucks, learning to ride a bike, or even shaving.
While there is still plenty of time for Pete and his brothers to search their way through the minefield of love, and while I highly doubt this will be a long lasting relationship, it is still the start of something slightly new around here. And I think it might take me a while to get used to it. Maybe, even longer than it takes for Lo-Lo to get used to her new bed.