Thanks for the memory, Facebook. But these may be my favorite parenting years yet.

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Yesterday, I was flipping through my Facebook feed, mindlessly looking through posts from old friends and ads for things that I vaguely remember mentioning a day or two ago to my husband (How does Facebook know that by the way?), when an old picture memory from seven years ago popped up.

My babies were LITTLE! Oh, so LITTLE!

The picture showed my now independent teenager — who is currently studying for her driving test and stands nearly five feet ten inches tall — heading into her first day of second grade.  Her hair was in little, curly pigtails and she wore leggings under her purple plaid dress.  Her sandals sparkled and her backpack was covered with bright pink cherry blossoms. Her big smile revealed her missing front teeth and freckles dotted her nose and cheeks.

In the picture she was holding the hand of her little brother, who is now nearly ten years old.  He was wearing a matching dinosaur shirt and shorts set, with his Paw Patrol socks and holding his favorite stuffed monkey.  His smile was from ear to ear and his hand was wrapped tightly in his sister’s — as it almost always was at that age.

As I stopped scrolling and took in all the details, my mind raced back to that memory seven years ago.  And for a moment I wished I could go back and have them small again.

But then I paused and thought.  I loved those years.  Yes, they were physically demanding at times, hauling car seats, babies, toys, and strollers.  There were many sleepless nights to endure. But those baby laughs, and big smiles, silly words, and funny songs made it all worthwhile.  I really did love those years.

But I think I might love my current years even more.

I love the wild conversations I have with my teenager about crushes, friends, clothes, and current fads.  I find joy in walking with her through the teenage ups and downs.  Laughing and crying with her as she navigates her new independence and starts to find her way.

I love watching my boy play his heart out in sports, cheering him on from the bleachers. I love hearing about his new Lego creations and how he may want to go into robotics when he grows up.  I love watching his personality grow and mature and hearing how he views this world we live in. And I really love his jokes!

I LOVE having older kids!

Kids I can have serious conversations with and discuss current events with.  Kids I can take places and not have to worry about the meltdown that will ensue if we miss nap time.  Kids I can laugh with about things that we BOTH truly find funny!  I love seeing life through their lens and hearing how they want to impact those around them.

These may be my favorite parenting years yet!

So, yes… sometimes I miss them being so small.  I did for half a second when I saw the picture on my Facebook feed.  But then I remembered that kids are pretty amazing at ALL ages.  For now, I am living in the moment and loving every second of where they are.  At this age, they are not only my kids, but my friends.

So, thanks for the sweet memory Facebook — but I don’t think I’d trade my life right now!

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