Thursday, April 29, 2010
End of an Era
In less than 3 short months, Henry will be a one year old toddler, likely walking around and saying his first words. I will be entering into a new era in my life. A baby-less era. I will be done being pregnant, done nursing a babe, done with infant clothes, done with multiple night feedings, and done with squeezing little baby booties. Forever. It's kind of sad and happy at the same time.
Our decision to be done and satisfied with 5 children has left me feeling odd. I almost don't know what to do with myself without a babe in arms. It seems that my identity for the last 9 years has included being pregnant or nursing. Maternity clothes still hang in my closet, my nightgown has clips on the straps so I can nurse in the middle of the night with ease, and let's just say my under-garments are not those of the fancy boutique kind. I have worn the same outfits over and over, seeing as I've always anticipated large fluctuations in weight. I've attached myself to neck fat and love handles as if they were family. And I've resigned myself to being tired and exhausted always, as if I'm a "functioning lack-of-sleep-aholic."
But now I'm reaching the light at the end of a very long tunnel. A large part of my parenting journey will have passed, and I will be on to new and bigger things. It is bittersweet. No longer will I be someone's favored person. No longer will I be the sole source of nourishment and comfort. I won't be the only one to decipher different cries and new words. I won't be witnessing the miracle that is the beginning of life. And, of course, the first smile, the first laugh, the first discovery of toes, the first sound, the first word, and the first step.
I gotta say, though, there are many things I won't miss about the baby stage. I won't miss the runny poops 4 times a day, the inability to stay on a project for more than 2 hours at a time, the crying as the only means of communication (from baby, not me), the lack of energy and time for exercise, the odor of poop and pee following me everywhere, and the moodiness that comes with nursing (from me, not baby).
So I have resolved to cherish these next 3 months and enjoy my baby boy. I'll enjoy the baby elbows, the toothless grin, the smashing of food on the high chair, the beginnings of sibling bonds, the belly laughs when I kiss his tummy, the splashing in the inflatable bathtub, the teeny toenails, the teeny toes, the first teeth, the fuzzy hair, the cute outfits, the first shoes, the delighted squeals, the first dancing, the napping schedules, the little squeezes, the open mouthed and slobbery kisses, and so much more that I can't think of now.
Because next comes the tween stage, with the funky teeth and the first chapter books. Then comes the junior high stage, where they will start breaking off and developing their own person. Then the teen stage, where they will physically mutate and the training ends and the practicing of adulthood begins. And then they will be adults and out of my home. I'll have to give them away to someone else. They will start their own phases of marriage and parenting. I will officially become a retired professional mother.
Time goes by so quickly. I think I'll savor every moment as best I can. Every day is a day I'll never get back.