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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My first family

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My first little gaggle of kiddos.

I have been doing that thing that people do when they hit mid-thirties. (Which I happened to hit a few weeks ago.) Not any whacked-out, criminal, raging thing. But that looking at babies and thinking.... "Hmmmm.... cuuuute.... Maybe I have what it takes to handle one of those critters now that I am all grown up."

This is how people end up with 'second families'. I don't mean the mid-life crisis, across town kind of backdoor family. No, more like how people have two kids early on and then about five or six years down the line have two more. This is also why I had my tubes tied with my last little happy surprise. I don't think this urge ever goes away.

Then, as I was pouring through baby pictures. See? Baby bug biting... I realized I was currently parenting my 'second' family. My husband was a package deal. With him came my awesome stepson, and well, my niece. She just liked to hang out with us. All. The. Time. She was my little groupie. Unfortunately as a newly married person, I didn't understand how quickly kids grow up. How I wouldn't have FOREVER to play Barbies with the little girl at my heels.

I was a clueless, selfish twenty-something that had little talent with children. But I was good at piggy back rides and had lots of craft supplies. However, looking back I wish I had the maternal patience that came from having my own babies. I would have for sure played Barbies with my niece more. I would have taken the time to enjoy it. It would have meant the world to her and I would have learned earlier that the joy was in the moment.

Daughter at 7 (arrow pointing to their twin moles)
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Niece at 10

Daughter at 7
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Niece at 9 (with my daughter)

My stepson and niece at 10. Always lots of crafting happening here.
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Daughter at 7

It is so stunningly odd that they are so similar and I am just realizing this. So quiet, smart, beautiful and creative.
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Niece

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Daughter

My niece and stepson are seventeen years old. I met them when they were seven, exactly the age as my daughter is now. It is unbelievable how fast this time has gone. One day you are surrounded by children, the next the house is quiet and you find yourself staring at the toy chest in the corner, tempted to get the dolls out and brush their hair. Guess what I am going to be doing tomorrow with my small ones? Yep, bring on the Barbies, tea parties, crafts and nerf gun fights. (I have a little boy to please too.)

And I will savor every second of it.

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