On being done, the sequel

06 September 2013



On Sunday night I laid down next to him and cried. It was such a small thing, really, but to me it was the world shifting. Life as I know it, my life, mother-of-babies life, is over. Tomorrow, I thought, tomorrow will be a new one, and I never even mastered the old one.

He was on his side and I was on mine, and I tried whispering I love you one last time before the baby left and boy began, but I got no reply. And I cried saying goodbye to this era, to the babies, to the rocking chairs and the nursing hours.

It was easy to make the decision we were done when there were still baby years left, when he still toddled and babbled, carrying a sippy-cup everywhere and falling asleep to my songs. Today he runs, speaking words faster than I can understand them, lunching in his barn and telling me as I unbuckle him at the school gate, "No, Mom, I walk in by myself." Now, we are done done.

Two days later, I carry his sorry self across village lanes and over the canal, up a tall narrow staircase and into the waiting room. His brief illness has returned the baby to me, for a couple of days, at least. I feel silly thinking of crying in his bed on Sunday night when yesterday he is curled in my lap for hours. 

I try not be a Helicopter Mom, but I am his. And he is our baby. And the school days won't change that. And at four, we've still got time. And today, and tomorrow, and the next day I have three hours alone in the house with all the babies gone. It's a brave new world and I, mercifully, start over again.

***

I can't promise this will be the last baby-being-done-and-growing-up post. I'm clearly still processing. And he is wearing his Jayhawk blues to represent Kansas, embodying so much of our old life while we live this new one. Does yours look different today, this month, this year, too?

8 comments:

  1. I feel like my world is all a new one. The other day it hit me that I said good bye to the newborn stage as my little one passed the 3 month mark. But I originally thought the newborn stage was only the immediate weeks after birth. I wasn't even aware there was such a long time frame on it, yet once I knew, then I felt like I was losing something. Go figure. I realize I have been holding onto the "you can't spoil a child by holding him to much in the first 3 months" so now I'm in a quandary of when to hold her and when is it spoiling and probably waaaay over thinking it. (Of course her recent ER visit and emergency surgery didn't help my desire to hold her all the time just because.) I feel like it backed me up in my parenting a few weeks, but also matured me. I'm still processing it, can you tell? It seems like we will always be going through these stages, babies, toddlers, elementary, teen years, college, single to married kids, then grandparenthood. I just aged us to grandparents - yikes! While there are things to look forward to, too, there's something about it being final that grabs your heart. Thanks for letting us process with you!
    Trish

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    1. Trish, I was actually thinking of you as I wrote this... God just brought you to mind! Thank you so much for processing with me... I think it's so hard/beautiful with babies as you think "I hope I can survive!" those first few months and then you're at month 4 (or 8 or 18) and they change so fast and you are so afraid you're missing it without realizing! Big hug to you, Mama, as you navigate those changes and months. Wish I could see you in action! :)

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  2. L started preschool this week too. So I can relate to how you're feeling. (hugs!)

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    1. MIss you, sister!!! Glad we can go through this together, sort of. :) How is everyone settling in to the new school year?

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  3. I know how you feel, I do recall my friend once saying to me about babies - " you are done with your babies now, its time to bring up your children" and it really focused me away from the sadness and sense of loss to the new challenge ahead with my babies, my children.

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    1. That's such a good thought... thank you!

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  4. Your writing is so beautiful, especially this entry. You made me cry again as I remembered... I have a 16 year old and an 11 year old now, so those days are GONE gone, but each stage is a new letting go and taking on.
    Blessings,
    Wende

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    1. Wende, you're so kind... and I'm sorry! :) Usually it's just me and my mom who cry with each post! You're right, too, letting go and taking on. Hope I take it on well.

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