Our baby is two. Two years ago I delivered him. Two years before that I delivered his sister. Two years before that I delivered his other sister. This year, I’m not delivering anyone. The pattern of pregnancy and nursing that has been my life for six years is done.
Done. Where did that time go? How can the “baby” years of my life be finished already?
The reality of it all hit me last week when we started searching for a captain’s bed for our son’s room. I realized that once that crib comes down, it’s not going back up. The crib has been a permanent staple in our lives for years – moving from one house to another and from room to room to room. I think of all the times I snuck as softly as I could to place each of them in there without waking them. I think of all the times I did that, they woke up and I had to start the bedtime routine all over again. I think of their first rolls. The first time they each reached for the mobile. I can hear their giggles as we played peek-a-boo through the slats. I remember the first time each of them pulled up and I walked in to see them standing and smiling at me in the morning. Above all else though, will be the memories of the hundreds and hundreds of times we responded to outstretched arms from that crib – “up”.
Once the bed makes it into the room, there really isn’t any need for the glider rocker anymore either. The cushions in that chair are permanently sculpted to the shape of my body. I’ve spent countless hours in that chair nursing, cuddling and reading stories. I’ve laughed in that chair, I’ve slept in that chair and I’ve cried many middle-of-the-night tears in that chair – so in love with my little bundles and just so overwhelmingly exhausted.
I’ve been told many times that each stage is as wonderful as the last. I believe it. I love that he’s now able to express what he wants like his sisters. I love that we can all go out and play in the snow together. I love that we can bake things together. I love that the kids give us hugs, kisses and ‘I love yous’ when they want to. I love that our two year old recently skied for the first time so it won’t be long until all five of us can hit the slopes as a family.
There really is so much to look forward to. In saying that, there’s also nothing wrong with reflecting and feeling a little sad about saying goodbye to a stage. I’ve loved the baby stage. Although frustrating at times, it’s truly amazing to be so responsible for someone’s wellbeing. I’ve logged the milestones. I’ve photographed everything. Even though I’ll always be able to look back and know the dates for certain milestones and see pictures of each stage, nothing can truly compare to the senses of smell and touch when it comes to babies. I hope I’ll always remember how amazing it felt to hold those little bundles. I hope I’ll always remember how incredible they smelled when they nestled into me. And even though they won’t remember it, I will always cherish the time I spent with them as babies. They made me a better and happier person with every cuddle, every ‘first’, every giggle and every loving interaction we shared.
To quote Winston Churchill, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller
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