My kids are getting older, and as they age, our family is developing habits and traditions. We are becoming our own little unit, with our own unique stories, inside jokes and ridiculous routines. We each have silly nicknames that we substitute into familiar songs. We each are known for certain things–my husband and daughter are reluctant to get up in the morning and grumpy for at least 30 minutes after rising, my son likes to shake his booty (most especially with his pants down), my daughter likes to free style dance–and we tease each other accordingly. We have routines and traditions. We have a certain, very specific humor that we only engage in at home (yes, fart jokes abound). We know each other intimately, and we enjoy each other, even as we drive each other bonkers.
We are becoming a real family, with our own special flavor.
The other day my daughter mentioned how much I love my Tile (more on this later, because it’s AWESOME) and she was playfully, lovingly mocking me about it to her dad. She knows things about me and can talk to her dad about me as A PERSON, not just her mom. She knows her Nana loves Scrabble and that her Papa loves to wrastle and that her Gramps loves the desert and that her Grammy loves cooking. When she sees something that she thinks one of us might like she can comment on it thoughtfully. She is becoming a human being who engages with others and her world in thoughtful ways!
My son is still a lot younger but at almost 3.5 years old, his personality is becoming more and more evident. He adores his sister, but wants to hit her most of the time (we’re working on it). One of his most used phrases is, “I’M SO FRUSTRATED!” because it’s hard being the youngest in a family of four when everyone has a big personality. He loves trains and cars and anything that goes. He hates bad guys and suspense on the TV (even if it’s not scary, suspenseful music is enough to send him running out of the room). He loves the ocean and the creatures that inhabit it and his favorite place in the world is the aquarium. He loves to snuggle, his mommy first and then his blankie (well, maybe not always in that order). Potty language is a part of almost every sentence he says. It always makes him bust out laughing.
I really do love the family we are becoming. I love the inside jokes, the easy way we make each other laugh, the silly things we say that would make no sense to anyone else. I love how my husband can distract my son into most things by making it a game (I’m going to get to the potty first!) and how my daughter says, “My brother would LOVE that,” when we see a digger on the street. I adore that my husband and daughter read comic books together, and that my husband is more excited to find one he things our daughter will like than he is to find one he himself enjoys. I cherish those easy moments, before the bedtime gauntlet starts, when we sit in the living room together and just be. These are the moments when I am living my dream.
And my husband is a huge part of these moments. I never love my husband more than when he is with our kids. All the things that made me fall in love with him are there when we are together, as a family. It’s incredible and gives me hope that things between us will be better, and easier, as our kids get older.
This is not to say every moment is a joy. I know anyone reading this blog doesn’t need that disclaimer, but I’ll say it all the same. So many moments are difficult and challenging. I feel frustrated and exhausted most of the time. But there are moments now, when things are not just easier, but enjoyable. And they deserve a mention here as well.