Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bye Bye Baby Years

Since he could talk to tell me what he wanted baby Roy would ask, at the end of his bath, "Mama, hold me like baby.  Let me see."  I'd wrap him in his green monkey towel (or else he'd say "me cold!"), cradle him like a baby, and we'd stand in front of the mirror until we were both satisfied with the moment.  He'd say 'That me.  That mama," or recently, "There me is.  There you are."  Or he'd close his eyes and feign sleeping, nuzzling close to my chest, proving that he was, in fact, still my baby, still cuddle-able, still holdable.

This morning was the first time that, after his big boy shower, I took him out, dried him off, and he did not demand "Mama, hold me like a baby."  I thought he just forgot, in the excitement.  Hmmm.  So I said, "Hey - Do you want me to wrap you in the towel and hold you like a baby?"  "No," he said.  "Me walk by myself."  And after a quick toweling off, he and his naked little bottom sprinted to his room to get ready.  He still needs help with that.

I shrugged it off.  Just a fluke.  Surely he didn't mean it.  He just forgot.  We were in my bathroom, instead of his where we normally are post-bath.  He was out of his element.  No biggie.  He'll ask me next time to hold him like a baby, when we're in the normal scene of the kids' bathroom, or he'll acquiesce to my request.  I'll surely get to wrap him up and hold him like a baby, post-bath, again.

But one day I won't.  One day, without even noticing, because it will have happened less and less frequently, he'll towel himself off, run to his room, dress himself all by himself by then, and it will have happened.  I will have, at some point, held him post-bath like a baby for the last time.

Time marches on.  It marches right over this mother's heart and stomps on it.  That's what it feels like.  Most days, my heart interprets it as - I want another baby.  But when I'm honest with myself and the reality of, well, reality, there are no more babies in our future.  When my heart and head accept that, I may take a day off work or at least wear all black, in mourning.

But I need and want to avoid mourning the fact that my kids aren't babies any more because they are fantastic amazing little humans no matter their age or stage.  So, here's to celebrating, today, the first of a last.  It means my little boy is growing up and becoming more of the amazing human he is.  I may not always be able to wrap him in a towel and pick him up but I certainly plan to take those moments when I can hold onto him and we can look at each other or in a mirror, hug and say - There's me, there's you, until we're satisfied with the moment.

1 comment:

  1. So much of motherhood is about letting go! Such a hard lesson. And also to know that WE are sad; THEY are not. That's one of the biggest things I've learned about being a mother--We're the ones reflecting on how now they want to "alk" on their own--they're just ecstatic to be doing it.