My two kids are at a great age right now. We are out of the baby phase. We can pretty much pack a bag in a few minutes and take off to go anywhere. The kids are easy to travel with, they are adventurous diners, they like to hike and bike with us, and they can have a great conversations now. Sure, occasionally there is a meltdown, even I have them now and again, but the kids are generally much easier these days. We are having a lot of fun together as a family in a way that I have been looking forward to for quite sometime and I am grateful.
Recently, the kids and I went on a bike ride with some friends. There were three other moms and nine kids. We rode for about ten miles and I was so impressed how well my kids were keeping up. There was no complaining, whining, or tears. Granted, there were other kids watching them, so having a freak out is far less likely when you are with your peers, but I was still proud of them. My friend and I talked about the kids ages right now and how much fun we are having, then we allowed ourselves to get a bit nostalgic about when they boys met back in preschool. We can't believe how that phase is just over. She mentioned this book that acknowledges the "lasts" of parenting and how so many people focus on the "firsts" but the last diaper you change is certainly worthy of celebrating.
There are so many little rituals that we have in our family. Some of which are phasing out naturally. We used to sing the same three songs to our first baby and when she grew out of lullabies we passed them on to number two. Quite a few nights have gone by without the bedtime singing ritual. My son doesn't sit on my lap for a bedtime book anymore either, but instead sits beside me while we read on our own. I miss holding him, but I love the new rituals too.
There are no more nap times, high chairs or onesies at our house. There is a baby gate up though and a small puppy who isn't quite potty trained yet. When I get impatient at how many accidents she has, I remind myself how very quickly each phase goes and that she won't be this small for long. Before I know it, we will be all be missing this sweet puppy time and marveling at how big she has gotten. So for now, I will enjoy all our rituals before it morphs into the next phase.