My life is hard in plenty of ways and my kids having been going through a really annoying bickering stage (they are just at each other non-stop sometimes - especially in the car - we can't get through a 5 minute drive to or from school without some totally inane argument...). I'm sure having Jared gone has brought out some of this.
But you know what? Overall, my kids are really in a sweet spot. They're all old enough to do and understand tons of fun things but they're all young enough to still be taken with the wonder of the world. They're old enough to know how to behave (at least usually) and help each other in such sweet ways (when the bickering bug doesn't bite). Yet they're young enough to still want me to read them and to light up when I enter their classrooms to volunteer. They're old enough that we can have great conversations together and really learn together. We memorized a quote by Ghandi the other day (we're doing a fun new Family Home Evening program where we learn scriptures, quote and songs that go with a theme - more on that later) and decided to look up some information on him. Before we knew it, Wikipedia had led us through Ghandi's life (did you know he was married at 14?) and all the brave and kind things he did then on to some interesting information on Hindu beliefs and Indian culture. This is what I dreamed of when I thought of being a mother - learning together, talking together, exploring the world together with my best little friends.
My dear friend, Neylan, wrote this great article that captures much of what I feel so beautifully. I love that she took the time to write a letter to her future daughter about the things she treasures about her present daughter. I'm going to do this for my kids. When I get a minute. Somehow. Check it out: