The months have flown past and my baby isn’t a baby anymore, suddenly turning into a full-fledged toddler. She did not walk forever, content to scoot around on her butt and then, finally, crawl, until last month-when she walked, finally. She whirls around like a drunken dervish, still not steady on those pins, but a bona fide toddler indeed. It makes me crazy with joy and sadness to watch how much she grows and changes every day. I should have been writing every day, if only to chronicle the changes; after having four other children, I know I won’t remember. I won’t remember the silly little things she does like climb upstairs and pop into the bathroom saying, “Hi!” as if she hasn’t seen me for weeks and weeks. I won’t remember the nights where she still cries for me to come nurse her, regressing to infancy in her half sleep. Some of the memory loss is good; I won’t remember how she drives me to distraction by screaming at the top of her lungs simply because she can, nor will I remember how hard she still is sometimes to be with all of the time. The nights where we both cry from exhaustion will be forgotten, and all I will remember is the sweetness.

Funny how everything changes in the blink of an eye, or at least that is how it seems. A month ago Owen cried because we kind of MADE him try to ride his bike without the training wheels, and yesterday he and Sam took a long bike ride together like they had been doing it for years. Three seconds ago Sam was peeping his head up the laundry chute hollering,”Let me love you!” and now he disappears into his room and closes the door.

It’s a strange time here, with one of my adult children struggling mightily and the other one just beginning to thrive, and yet I have these small little creatures who still depend on me for so much. I feel crazy sometimes, going from dealing with very serious issues with one child to convincing another that these shoes are just fine, she does not need the black church shoes. It’s like living a double life in a lot of ways, and requires so much more of me than I thought. For many reasons.

So I sneak up early before anyone is up and I have started to write. I have been blessed with a couple of good paying jobs that make me feel useful and I have fun, but I need to write more. Here, for eventual publication, for my sanity. My children keep me grounded and happy, but the writing makes me fly. Strange times indeed, and I am not sure what I even did before all this.

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