Sitting. Snuggling. Bonding.

My baby boy is turning 2 this week. I know this sounds cliché, but, seriously, where has the time gone? I didn’t even feel this stressed about my daughter turning 4 last month. Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely stressed about my Evalyn turning 4 and going into PreK, but it was a different type of stress. Witnessing my children grow and their personalities develop is the most exciting part about being a parent. However, it’s a strange sensation; watching little people grow. It happens so fast that you barely remember what they were like when they were merely infants.

Evalyn became overwhelm on the eve of her 4th birthday. (Photo cred; Sasha C Russell)
Evalyn became overwhelmed about growing up on the eve of her 4th birthday. (Photo cred; Sasha C Russell)

Sometimes I look back at my daughter’s baby pictures and if I close my eyes, for a moment, I can feel what it was like to hold her. Now it’s only been 4 years, yet her being a tiny squirming bundle of joy seems like a lifetime ago. The same is for my Dominic. He’s only turning 2, yet I can hardly remember what he was like as a little baby. It’s funny how we, as humans, adapt to our situations. Our brains function in such a way that it’s almost hard to even remember what life was like before having kids. Of course, I remember the freedom to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. But, it also feels like my kids have always been there. Like I’ve known them forever. Which, I guess, maybe I always did. I suppose I have known them for their whole lives.

My daughter actually asked me earlier, “Mommy, when you were born and I was born, did we know each other?” This question took me by surprise. I thought about it for a moment and told her, “Well, when mommy was born I didn’t know you yet. But, when you were born, I knew that I knew you my whole life.” Also to my surprise, she was very happy with this answer. Which kind of freaked me out. I remembered when she was a couple of months old, my mother in law said that when Evalyn looked into her eyes, it was like she was seeing inside her soul. I always felt that way, too. Evalyn is wise beyond her years and definitely has an old soul.

Dominic is rambunctious, to say the least. He is bright, adventurous, and very curious. He definitely keeps us on our toes. By the end of the week, my baby will be 2. He will be in full-blown toddlerhood and there is no turning back. Upon realizing this I became overwhelmed with mixed emotions. I will never get that time back with him.

Denis & the kids bonding on the train to NYC. (Photo cred: Sasha C Russell)
The kids and Denis bonding on the train to NYC. I love capturing moments like this. (Photo cred: Sasha C Russell)

I was blessed with Evalyn because due to different circumstances, I was able to take 3 months of partially paid maternity leave. We had a lot of time to sit, snuggle, and bond. With Dominic, I had to go back to work at 6 weeks. Something that I still feel guilty about. I wonder often if our relationship as he grows will be strained because I had to send him off so soon. However, I was blessed again and shortly after he went into daycare, I was able to start working from home two days a week. But, it wasn’t and isn’t the same. It was hard to sit, snuggle, and bond with a toddler running around. It was hard to sit, snuggle, and bond with the pressures of knowing I had deadlines approaching. I adapted. We adapted. But, the past year and a half have definitely been stressful.

And now, I can’t stop thinking about how I will never have another baby to sit, snuggle, and bond with. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite content with my two. I don’t think I could handle more – at least not in our current living and financial situation. I am happy with two. Yet, I still feel unsettled knowing this is it. People have asked me if my husband would ever get a vasectomy and I laugh it off, but every time it catches me off guard.

I miss the sitting. I miss the snuggles. I miss the bonding. This is probably one of the worst parts of watching your kids grow. It happens so fast. I think about all the times that I’ve wished that my kids would sleep in their own beds or that they would just walk or stand next to me, instead of begging me to pick them up and hold them when I’m in the middle of doing something. At the same time, I dread the day that this will end. I dread the day that I put one of my babies down, only to never pick them up again.

While I understand that I’m a better mom to my kids when I have some time to myself, I also understand that my time with them as littles is fleeting. I will never get this time back. So far now, as tired as I am, I’ll take the sitting, I’ll take the snuggles, I’ll take the bonding, in whatever form it comes to me.

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