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We are long past getting up with a hungry baby in the middle of the night.

We no longer push a stroller or have the need to carry a baby bag.

I don’t remember the last time I was asked to cut up chicken fingers (or blow on them to cool them off).

Bath time? No one needs help anymore; no one has to be reminded.

And most nights I’m in bed and already asleep as bowls of cereal are being poured up downstairs in the kitchen.

Can I be honest with you for a moment?

These were the days I dreaded when my children were babies.

I was Team Keep Them Small Forever, and even the thought of them growing up, well, it scared me to death.

But can I tell you something?

This stage is incredible.

That’s right. It is a freakin’ blast!

RELATED: I Wasn’t Sure I’d Be Good at Mothering Teens

A journey that began with sleepless nights, exhausting days, and unidentifiable stains on my shirt has somehow turned into me having the time of my life.

They make me laugh. Like, that deep down belly laughter—the kind that hurts your sides. My absolute favorite.

They are fun to be around. So fun. They even have this sorta’ sarcastic humor that we oddly seem to like around here.

They hug me—and really, really good hugs, at that. Their arms (no longer the chubby arms of a little toddler) can wrap fully around me now, and the amount of comfort found in those arms? Well, it is unquantifiable.

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Playdates, baby group, and 7 p.m. bedtimes have been replaced with late-night drives for ice cream and conversations about politics, religion, and current world events (all over a cuppa’ hot tea, of course).

I respect their thoughts, their opinions, and their beliefs. They are steadfast in who they are, and while their feet are planted firmly in place (not to be swayed by my persuasion), I would never want to change them anyway.

It’s living out the days of seeing your children become who they are—and it’s really, really cool when you like what you see.

Parents of littles, I’m not saying that rocking newborns to sleep isn’t lovely. Or that holding that dimpled toddler hand to walk across the road isn’t so incredibly sweet. I’m not telling you that the moments you’re living right now won’t be amongst some of the best moments in your life, because they most certainly will be.

All I’m saying is that there’s just something about this teen and preteen life that tugs at my heartstrings like no other stage of motherhood has.

So, no, parents of littles, I’m not saying don’t cherish the season that you’re in,

I’m just saying don’t be scared of what’s to come, that’s all.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page.

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Heather Delaney

Heather is a wife and mother of three, who is crazy passionate about motherhood, marriage, and sisterhood. She loves hot mugs, heart rambles, and really good pasta. You can follow along with her adventures either on Facebook, or on Instagram.     

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