Believe it or not, this is Noah, not Ethan. He's 5-years old, and in a booster seat. Below is Ethan. He's almost three and LOVES Thomas the Train.
Today I watched a video that was taken in 2003. That means Ethan was one and Noah was three. They were beyond cute. They were so little and innocent. They fought over mommy's lap, as opposed to the playstation, as they do now. Only Sam and Max fight over my lap. Ethan was barely walking and could say anything, and Noah was still saying, "Dramma Taro's tooties are dood!!" As much as his speech impediment frustrated me at the time, I have to admit I miss it. They were so sweet. Then the video showed me. I was younger, thinner and TIRED. I looked like death warmed over!! Keep in mind my children didn't sleep through the night until they were well over two and a half, so I was going on three years of no sleep. I remember one Mother's day I didn't want flowers or a gift, I wanted a nap. I would have killed for two hours of sleeping in the bed alone with the bedroom door closed and not having to be responsible for what was happening outside of it. I remember, about that same time, during Ethan's three years of terrible two's (yes- THREE years), when he would come to my room every night pitching a fit about something just in case I had forgotten what his whining was like. But now that I look back, he was whining for me. I was the ONLY one who could make whatever was wrong (believe me, it was ANY number of things) better. I remember saying, "these kids are sucking the life outta me", and it wasn't my last year's students. With my students, I can send them in the hall and close the door at the end of the day. Your own children always find a way back in. Even though, these memories are in the recent past, I have to admit my kids are growing up too fast, and watching them on video makes me long for the times they were toddlers. I fear someday I won't be the most important person to them, because they will always be to me. When I look at them I see them as they were the day they were born. They look at me as the one who knows everything. As the one who will always protect them, and take care of them. I am not a person. I am MOM. I was reminded of this one day when Noah saw me crying and was scared. I stopped and thought of it in his point of view. I didn't see my mom cry until I was 18 and it scared the crap out of me. Last Friday I tricked Ethan into holding my hand in a parking lot without him fighting me. I cherished it the whole time. Noah slipped today and called me "mommy". I secretly wonder if that's the last time I will hear him call me that. They still crawl in bed with me in the morning for a chapter in the book I am reading to them and a snuggle. Will they do that next year, or will Noah be too big? I wish I could freeze time and keep them this age. Last night Noah's Babe Ruth coaches surprised the team with trophies with their names on them. Noah was so excited, you would think he was handed a million dollars. Would he be that excited in three years? The coaches mentioned how Noah was the kid who always helped carry the gear to and from coaches truck. I was proud because he is such a genuinely good kid. When he was one month old, my cousin told me, "he is so good. They aren't all this easy." Not knowing anything different, I thought "whatever"... Now after teaching nine more years and having baby number two, I know he really is easy. Ethan is a good kid too. After he got over the whole terrible two's era, he has really shaped up! I wouldn't trade either of them for the world!!