When someone mentions “the circle of life”, what most often comes to mind is the song by Elton John made famous by The Lion King. But those words best describe to me a certain set of patterns and milestones that each of my children have gone through. They are familiar and nostalgic and bring a certain rhythm all their own to parenting.
Each of the four children has had their own blanket. One has been safely packed away with care, two were worn down to bits of rag tied in a knot, then finally thrown away, and one is still very much in use.
Each of our children have gone through a phase where they have crawled in bed with their dad and I in the middle of the night. It makes our full sized bed very crowded, but it doesn’t last forever and it seems to meet their need for that time. (Although I must admit, I object to this latest child’s habit of turning around so her feet are at my head and kicking me repeatedly in the wee morning hours.)
Each of the four children have gone through the phase of “stories out of my mouth”. These are highly prized and much more desirable than ordinary stories from a book. When the children enter this phase, the requested story is almost exclusively The Three Little Pigs, although it is not uncommon to request The Three Bears. In a fascinating (at least to me) twist, each of the children have latched on to the same words and phrases in the story to tell it along with me. Incidentally, it doesn’t seem to phase any of them that Mommy and Daddy tell different versions of the story, it is all part of the fun.
As I snuggle in bed with Emma these days telling my version of The Big Bad Wolf, Pigs and Wolf, or whatever it is being referred to that day, I can’t help but think back to snuggling with a tow-headed little boy and his brother knocking on the walls and blowing down the pigs’ houses together and at the same time, anticipate doing the same with yet another child in a couple of years.