...and I hate it.
And I love it.
Each new step, each new skill, accomplishment and milestone causes a joy to well up in me that catches me off guard each time. My heart is so full and my spirit is kept alive and renewed by who they are, by who they are becoming, and by the love we share in this family.
When I check on them at night, they are so peaceful in their slumber. Jackson's breath is often so soft that I touch my cheek to his to feel that breath brush my nose as he exhales, and he smiles in his sleep when I turn and kiss him on that same cheek. Samantha lays heavy in her pillow, growing so long and lean even as she lies there, my big girl...but even in her sleep, she still reaches out to take my hand or feel my face in those quiet moments in the early morning.
In those moments, I ache to pick them up, snuggle them tight and feel their breath on me as I go to sleep. Someday, sooner than I think, they'll be "too big" to snuggle me, too big to come crawl in my bed, and I'll ache for these times to return.
But they won't. Time marches on, doesn't it? Whether we want it to or not. They grow, and they go, and I know I'll still be able to feel his soft breath on my face and her hand reaching for mine, long after they are older than I am now, long after they put their own babies to bed, and long after they lay me to rest.
And it's as it should be. It's not as though I wish them a life of perpetual toddler-hood. There is a wonderful, bright world out there for them to conquer, to drink in and experience, and I want that for them, truly. But for that to happen, my babies, my sweet, sweet babies, have to grow up.
And they ARE growing up.
And I love it.
And I hate it.