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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

It suddenly hit me the other day; I don’t have little kids anymore.

Time is passing all too quickly and my boys are growing up. The little guys are 5 now, while the older ones just celebrated their 10th birthday this week. (Happy Birthday again, sweeties.) It suddenly hit me the other day: I don’t have little kids anymore. They are all properly trained and certified in bathroom usage techniques, everyone is able to pour their own beverage at mealtime should they be so motivated, and oh! they all dress themselves daily. And make their own beds. They’ve even surprised me lately by helping out with chores that are typically mine.

I’m enjoying their independence, along with all the new things we can do as a family like dining out, seeing movies, shopping, and travel. Just last month all 4 boys went to the butterfly gardens with me and their grandparents and had an amazing time. I’ve never seen them more engaged; it was the best educational field trip we’ve taken so far.

At the same time, I’m not the mother of babies or toddlers anymore.

I think parenting is, among other things, a study in contrasts. The one thing you can count on to stay the same in this journey is all the change you will encounter. What a strange experience, to rejoice in their growth and successes yet mourn the passing of so many adorable tricks and traits. With the passing of each season I understand more clearly the saying “It all goes by too fast”.

I want to preserve as many memories as I can, and more importantly I want to make good memories with them. What do you do for preservation? Pictures? Video? Journals? What about memory creation? Do you have special traditions or activities you do as a family that you hope your kids will consider warmly and repeat when they are parents themselves?

Originally posted at GNMParents, now archived at ForeverParenting.com.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents whose children are growing up too fast.