I lay quietly next to you, watching your chest rise and fall as you slept. Every few minutes, you’d sigh and a little whistle would escape your nose. Weren’t you just a baby? Weren’t you just toddling down the hallway waiting for someone to praise you? Weren’t we just getting rid of the pacifier and potty-training?
Where did the time go?
I don’t have babies anymore. I came to this realization this week. I have kids -a four year old and a six year old. There are no more diapers in my house, no bottles, no wipes, no cribs, no high chairs. There will be no more first words, first steps, baby coos or nursing sessions.
It breaks my heart a little. It’s as if time snuck in and took something from me without even asking. She wasn’t even subtle. There’s no whisper, no hint of what’s to come. She just barrels in and all of a sudden years have passed and you can’t get them back. You can’t take more videos or more pictures. You can’t write down what you’ve already forgotten.
Our family is complete, of that I am quite certain. I don’t have the itch to have another baby and I am at peace with that. But that doesn’t mean that I want my moments to be over.
I can barely pick up my son anymore. He’s almost 60 lbs and all boy. He wiggles and squirms when I try to kiss him. Hugs are a different story. I can still count on a cuddle when I want it. But for how long? When does time steal that away from me too?
They say that the days are long and the years are short. I scoffed when I first heard it. Who are these people who say that and do they have any idea what my days are like?
Now I understand. I can barely remember my first days home from the hospital. The pain of labor is unfamiliar. The sleepless fog that seemed it would never end has finally lifted. The smell of newborn baby no longer sits in my nasal passages. Crying due to hunger and dirty diapers has been replaced by whining over brushing teeth and fighting between siblings. We argue over not listening and inappropriate behavior. Sports, homework and what to do over the weekend are common topics at the dinner table.
We have entered the next phase.
It means new adventures and for that I am excited. But as I see the memory of infants and toddlers in the rearview mirror, I can’t help but shed a few tears. What a spectacular time of life that was and how grateful I am to have been able to experience it.