Birth Order (Day 126, Year 2)

Monday I took my three kids to the dentist for a cleaning. Without any urging, the three of them took to their chairs in birth order. Chloe always sits first. She is the middle child and always resigned to being squashed in the center. Then Lily and Nicholas filled in their first and last positions, respectively.

When I commented on it to the three of them, they each looked at me like I was ridiculous. They are not even aware of their little sibling quirks. 

This tiny little, regular maneuver just about undid me. In that moment of lining up in their positions, I saw everything I ever wanted as a mom. 

I wanted kids who were a family to one another and who held traditions close; even if those traditions are as ridiculous as lining up in birth order. Time is flying fast. We are on the cusp of launching one child out of high school and into whatever is next, another into high school and our baby is so close to not being a baby anymore. 

Okay, the baby is 9 and not really a baby, but I know you know that the baby is forever the baby!

I am so enjoying their big kid ages. Lily is growing into a young woman who I deeply enjoy--I can see ahead to adulthood and the new adventures we will have. Chloe is so smart and sharp and driven--watching her blossom (and obsess over her grades and her hair), I am so happy to be in her universe. Nicholas continues to impress me with his empathy and his memory--my forever baby, who will someday be a man.  

But, still, it's scary to think ahead to a time when they are not so firmly here, as the Adkins Three. All I want for them is to be happy and then, I want them to be close. Family is truly everything; and all I ever wanted was to raise a family--to have kids who had bonds that transcend everything. 

Thick as thieves, I always used to say them when they little and giggling around the house. 

And friends, I think if my kids still automatically line up in birth order and then simultaneously look at me as if I am a lunatic, I've done my job.