My little nephew is turning 7. He has twin big sisters who turned 11 last month. It's my SIL's family and they live in California. We don't see them very often. In fact, the last time I saw them was for my oldest's graduation from high school. We were chatting on the phone and she said that you yearn for this concept of family, not realizing that it isn't a static thing that you can hold onto. You imagine a house full of perpetual preschoolers and suddenly you have a house full of pre-teens. And I said suddenly you have a house that isn't full at all.
I read the blogs of younger moms with younger kids and the joy of motherhood explodes off the pages. They are giddy at their good fortune; most are hitting their stride. The most difficult part of mothering is hovering in the distant future: the letting go. We must decrease in the lives of our offspring so they can live fully on their own. I suspect we mothers all say we know that our children are only borrowed but somewhere along the way our hearts don't process the message. Somehow it always is shocking when moving day arrives and they are off on their own.
I would be content to park in phase one of mothering and live forever but God is always pushing me on into the current of life. Enjoy the view but don't put up a tent.