But six is just so old. There's just no way to pretend they're still babies now. At least not any legal way.
They make their beds every morning (and I use all of those words very loosely), pick out their clothes, dress themselves, brush their own hair and teeth (and sometimes even manage to keep the toothpaste in their mouth and out of their hair).
They feed and water the dogs, bring the garbage in and out, help put away the laundry and the groceries (under threat of nakedness and starvation, sure, but still).
They're reading and writing and arithmeticking. Giving presentations, going on field trips, and putting on plays (ok, it was one very lonnnnng act at home, but it had a beginning, a middle, and an end, so it counts).
They're recognizing bullies and mean girls from 20-feet-away now and are arming themselves every single day with more and more witty comebacks and brilliant sarcastic retorts like, "Nu-uh," and "I know you are, but what am I?"
And, of course, I want to see what they're going to be like in 10 years. Hell, I can't imagine the changes they're going to go through this summer alone. But the babies they were. I can't help but miss that. The way they felt in my belly (all 209 lbs of us at 40 weeks).
The first time they nursed. Their furry (and you'll understand this if you're Mexican), round, roly-poly bodies. The way their tummies jiggled when they laughed. Their monkey fingers and toes curled around any and every thing within reach.
The way they smelled in the crooks of the necks. (And as I write that, my nose crinkles at the thought of my smelly little monsters today. Sweat and lint and...gunk trapped in crevices and corners and follicles and pores that no amount of bathing or wet wipes seem to be able to alleviate.) But back to the happy place...
And the quiet peace on their faces as they slept (for that whole two hours at a time).
But mostly today I guess I just feel blessed. By something, someone greater than myself. That I could create and grow something -- two somethings -- so magnificent, so perfect, without an instruction manual or survival guide. And that despite all of my mistakes along the way (feel free to search this site for "another bad mama moment"), and no matter how far they flee as soon as they're able, they still and will always be my babies.