They have a bottle, until they don’t. They fall asleep in your arms, until they don’t. They use a pacifier, until they don’t. They wear diapers, until they don’t. They hold your hand, until they don’t. They’re babies, until they aren’t.
I’m really struggling with this. This whole “growing up” thing. This whole “last baby” thing. I used to wonder what people meant when they asked me “are you a mess that Rowen is turning 1 already?” It used to confuse me. I didn’t understand why I would be upset about that. Until now. Until my LAST baby turned 1. Until my last baby is no longer considered a baby.
This new stage of life has become a constant heart and mind battle. I want another baby, but I don’t want 3. More often than not I am silently starring at both of my children. Trying to burn their current features in my brain. Trying to pause their size and personalities by using mind power and prayer. Time goes too fast, it really does; it wasn’t until recently that I really started to believe this. Yes, I’ve heard it over and over and I probably said it just as much as the next parent. But really, it wasn’t until this last week that it really started to hit me. Thinking about taking away Rylan’s bottle just seemed too hard. Because Rylan’s last bottle, is my last bottle. Because for the first time in a little over 3 years, we can rid our house of bottles. This doesn’t feel exciting to me, this doesn’t feel like a relief-instead it makes me think back to the first time I held each child, each time I looked down at them with the wonder of who they were going to be someday. It makes me scroll through my photos and videos and block out the rest of the world, get lost in those moments of life as a new parent, life with a brand new baby. It makes me look at that new mom with envy in my eyes, with the urge to tell her to soak it all in. It makes me want to hug that seasoned mom who is preparing to drop her child off at their first day of kindergarten. It makes me want to spend EVERY. LAST. SECOND. with my children. Because if these last 3 years have gone this fast, I can’t imagine how fast the next 15 will go.
Today, Rylan drank his morning milk out of a sippy cup. He drank it all. Without using the word “ba ba”, without even a small sliver of sadness and without the sense of missing something. I watched each swallow he made, PRAYING he would stop and ask for a bottle. But he didn’t. And this right here is what pulls way too hard at my heart strings. When will I know that the last time is going to be the last time for anything? Because, they have a bottle, until they don’t. They fall asleep in your arms, until they don’t. They use a pacifier, until they don’t. They wear diapers, until they don’t. They hold your hand, until they don’t. They’re babies, until they aren’t.