Oh my heart. I just finished snuggling my baby; he’s four now, and feels like a giant. As I stared at him all nestled in my lap, he looked so big. I’ve spent the past four years snuggling this child more than I care to admit, and I can pull up countless photos to prove it. Snuggling him through illness, and grouchy days and impromptu naps…days upon days upon days of snuggles. That’s what he needed, and I selflessly gave, but not always joyfully. At the time I often resented it, all of my time spent confined, desperate for space; but now, as I’m snuggling this tired little boy, I’m overwhelmed by how much I miss it. How much I miss those sweet cheeks buried in my chest, his warm little body sprawled out across my lap and the steady drone of his breathing…such sweet memories.
How quickly things change, just a few months ago I was still confined more than not, but now its so rare, and I’m realizing its the start of many missed moments as my baby grows older. With the older kids I was desperate for them to just do something, anything without needing me; but now that its my baby, I’m not quite so eager, for a day will come when he no longer needs me. It almost hurts to type that, I mean that’s not really something I even think about; my children will one day not need me. That is what we are all striving for as momma’s right, for these children to turn into self-sufficient adults; and now as I stare at my four year old, I realize these years will be gone in a flash.
I have found myself lately smiling a bit more as I trip over toys, or find cushions made into a fort, or when he grabs for my hand unexpectedly, or when he pecks me with those sweet, slobbery kisses…its going by so fast! And I don’t know what I will do when these moments are but a memory, when they are big and can do it on their own, when I’m not the most important person in their life. I mean, lets be honest, it has its downsides, but you can’t beat the love of your littles.
My daughter turned seven this week, and its shocking how grown she is now. A first grader who is reading and writing, confidently living life without me by her side. She is growing into her passions and dreams and its a little bit startling…not that long ago she was the one pecking me with slobbery kisses, grabbing my hand to cross the street and yelling momma every two seconds. There were days that I swore thats all they said, the incessant drone of momma all day long, so draining. But now, I hear it less; don’t get me wrong, it still feels like a war zone at times. But its shifting; they need me less, they entertain themselves, and somehow, my momma instincts can feel the change. The instincts just know it, life is changing, for the better in many ways, but also bittersweet. The life I’ve been striving for, all three kids in school all day long, its coming, and I might become the cliche mom who cries…I swore I wouldn’t be her, I’m not an overly emotional person, so to me it always seemed a bit extreme; but I might. And I think the tears will signify the sweet memories of the past, and the acceptance that this child is launching into the world without momma by his side. Be still my heart.