An impromptu photo shoot in the Swonke house. Aww, geez. So dang cute.
This blog has been in the back of my mind for a while and I just now have a chance to sit down and put it in letters. I have had the worst time in the world growing up. It's not that my growing up has been bad; it was so very good and that is where the difficulty lies. A few weekends ago my babies and I went to be with my parents and two of my sisters. This is one of my favorite things. While I was there I heard my 14 year old niece giving my 19 year old niece a hard time about the 19 year old having told the 14 year old to quiet down during their dollar store adventure. "What's happening to you? Are you growing up or something?", she asked, jokingly. I remember when my niece and nephews would ask me the same questions. They couldn't understand why I didn't feel like going outside to rush down the pine straw covered hill on a box when I was home for a weekend from college. Even though I couldn't seem to shake what was happening inside, I cringed at the thought that I was starting to grow up. And now, 27 years old, married and two babies, I'm just starting to be okay with being an adult. I was talking to my Mom a short time ago and said, "I guess I'm grown up now." Her response was, "Yes, when you have two children and are married, I think that means you're grown up." I read a poem when I was in UIL at some point in school. I can't find it, but I remember it was about a little kid that realized that even though she was 12, she was also 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3,2 and 1. I feel that way pretty much every day of my life. Even though I'm 27, I feel every other age that has brought me to this point. Chris said something really profound about all of this. One day I was crying about growing up, about my Grandparents changing, my Grandpa passing away, my parents having difficult health issues and such. He said something like this. "Lauren, it's great that your childhood was so good that you don't want to leave it. The only thing is, now it's time for us to make our kids lives good like that." Even though I would say I knew this already, it was like a light bulb went off in the back of my mind. It was the light bulb that was previously hanging over the darkened room where I went to cry and ask God why it is that we have to grow up. All the while the answers were right in front of me and I just couldn't see them. It's time for me to grow up for many reasons, but two of the most precious little round faced reasons are my sweet babies. They deserve a childhood with wonderful parents that teach them about a loving family, about a God that loves them so viciously that he gave his only Son, about how to live this life and be a blessing, not a bum. They deserve special times with their grandparents, just like I had. They deserve sweet visits with their cousins, like we had this weekend. They deserve golden, country days with their funny little friends. They deserve everything, every ounce, of me that I can give. Being a parent to my kids like my parents were to me as a kid is "just what I've always wanted." And that, my friends, takes me being an adult. It's okay to grow up. Those past years don't go away when you cross the threshold of adulthood. I know that even though I'm 27, I'm also 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1.