My life as a mother is full of bittersweet moments. As I watch my children grow up and learn new things my heart swells with pride. They amaze me each day with all of the things they are capable of. This past weekend I learned that Mr. T. is capable of playing catch. I have been fully aware of the fact that he is very athletic and loves sports but I always just kind of assumed that he was too young to put on a baseball glove and actually catch a ball. Yet this weekend we went on a picnic and Mr.T. played catch with some boys that are a few years older. I sat back and watched him play with these boys and it hit me with a shocking thud to my heart that his baby days are gone.
We then returned home where we moved Ms. J from a crib to a bed. How did this happen? When did this happen? While my heart did a little flutter as I watched her sleeping so peacefully in her big girl bed, my eyes filled with tears. It’s official she’s not a baby anymore! She is a full-blown toddler. She can talk to me, we chat non stop. She not only wants to do everything herself but she is capable of doing so much herself. We took down that crib, a part of me feeling such joy that my little lady is moving up in her little world and the other side of me wanting to keep the crib as is for just a little while longer. How much longer can I get away with keeping her my baby?
All of these shocking realizations are pulling at my heart. I do not have a baby in my home anymore! Babies have taken up pretty much every second of my life for the past 4 years. It seems as though almost every thought I had, every action I took, every decision I made somehow could be tied back to a baby. My babies to be exact. That is no longer. They are turning into their own little people. Mr. T. doesn’t always want to cuddle anymore. He wipes away my kisses and doesn’t want me to carry him anymore. MS. J. hasn’t hit the stage where she doesn’t want my kisses anymore but she doesn’t need me the way she used to. She can wash her own hands and brush her own teeth thank you very much. Forget about picking her clothes or even putting them on, she’s fully capable of doing that herself, thank you very much.
My heart is hurting right now. I don’t think I’m ready for this. I think I need them to need me. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I sat diligently by Mr. T’s incubator praying to whoever was listening to just make him better??? How is he now a big boy getting ready for school in September??? When did this happen? Didn’t I just spend last night begging Ms. J. to please sleep, hoping that she would go longer than 2 hours before she needed to be nursed again? If that were true, how is she telling me that she wants pasta for dinner tonight?
I’m having a hard time with this. I am beginning to grasp the fact that this very well be it for me and babies. While we haven’t fully decided if we are going to add to our brood or not, I know that there is a chance that I may never have another baby in my home. I miss it. I know when I was in it I couldn’t wait until my babies slept through the night or ate solids. Here we are having met those milestones and a million others and what I wouldn’t give to have that back, even for just a day.
My heart is pained, my soul is longing for that pull that comes only from your baby crying out for you. That smell, when you sniff the tops of their heads or for me their entire beings. I could smell them forever. The gentle calm that comes over you when your baby is wrapped tightly in your arms, snuggled up against you as though they are simply an extension of your own body. The crushing adoration that takes over your entire being when they wrap their little finger around yours. The explosion of love you experience when your eyes meet. How can this be over?
As I said, it is an utterly bittersweet moment for me. I am heartsick at the thought of losing my babies but am overjoyed at the thought of watching them grow into even more beautiful adults. Experiencing their first day of school, their first soccer game and/or dance class. Watching them learn new things, master new skills and explore their world is so amazing. I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to not only watch a human being develop but to play a role in helping that baby grow into a kind, loving, gentle and constructive adult.
With tears in my eyes and joy in my heart I will bid farewell to my babies and welcome two wonderful little people into my life. Those baby days are gone but never forgotten. And I now have the rest of my life to experience with them the rest of the journey through their life. It is a different beauty but is just as magnificent.
Even as I write this Ms. J wants ‘1 more cuddle mummy’…maybe I can squeeze in a few more moments of babyhood whenever I can? Even if just for 1 more cuddle.