Babies. Chubby cheeks, super soft skin, and pure innocence. I never understood the joy that babies bring until I had one of my own. Have you ever noticed that babies smile with their eyes as well as their mouths? A baby’s gaze into its mother’s eyes is worthy of time standing still. A baby’s cuddles can help heal the deepest of wounds. Babies bring warmth, comfort, and hope.
Sure, newborns don’t do a whole lot, and they truly are helpless. They spit up and may scream incessantly for no apparent reason, but now that I no longer have a newborn, I am finding that I have a bit of a void. Now, hold on, I’m not going to do anything wild and get pregnant with Number 4 anytime soon, but I will admit that I am feeling a little sad to think that my days of mothering an itty bitty baby are likely behind me. I can’t put my finger on exactly why I have a case of the baby blues. I have 3 beautiful children, the youngest of which is almost 5 months old. He’s still a baby, yes, but he’s growing by what seems like the minute and becoming more and more of a little man and less of a little baby each day. He is no longer completely dependent upon me as he can already hold his head up and before long, he’ll be crawling around and then walking, talking…and of course, sassing. Once they sass, the baby innocence is no more and there is no turning back.
Now at 3 AM about 3 months ago, I may have been counting the seconds until my baby would sleep through the night but now that we are getting close (he sleeps through some nights), I am almost melancholy. Reaching each milestone is bittersweet because my babies are one step closer to that seemingly far off day when they pack their bags for good (gasp!) I recently cleaned out baby boy’s closet because he has already outgrown many of his clothes and instead of stashing his things in the basement as I have done in the past with my daughters, I have passed the clothes along to a friend who is expecting a new baby in April. Does this feel sad because I know that I am likely done having kids? Is it because I wish I could just keep having kids? Is it because I love babies? I even feel a bit of sadness when passing by the maternity section at Target, thinking it’s a drag that I will probably never feel the excitement that only comes with the impending arrival of a new baby.
Now don’t get me wrong, my heart is full with my 3 little lovies but I sometimes have a hard time accepting the fact that my baby days are almost gone, and while nothing makes me happier and prouder than watching my kids learn and grow, there is something about loving a newborn that is hard to let go.
Time passes so quickly. This is alarmingly apparent once you become a parent. You see how fast your baby goes from needy newborn to cooing infant, then talking toddler, and before long, you have a preschooler who cannot only write her name but she understands concepts and comes up with ideas on her own that are quite clever.
Where does the time go? It has all become too real. Our time here on earth is short. Parenthood is even shorter. Snuggle up with your children whatever their ages and find comfort in knowing that no matter how old they are, they will always be your babies to love.