Today, my oldest son and I babysat our young cousins for a few hours. Kodi is 22 months old and Mika is 4 months old. My husband also babysits Kodi every Wednesday to help out his cousin.
It was nice to spend time with the little ones. But it was also nice to be able to give them back to their parents after a couple of hours. Don't get me wrong, I love babies and toddlers. But, I loved them even more when I was younger and didn't know how great things would be when they became more independent. Now that my kids are all in school full-time, independently arranging their own rides and outings with their friends, and can be left alone at home for a period of time, I am loving this stage in their lives.
I enjoy babysitting for a few hours or being the one who is known as "the baby whisperer" at family gatherings, but I wouldn't go back to that age now for anything. I'm happy with where we are in our family and kids' ages. I think I will enjoy it even more now that I see how far we've come.