My little guy is 2 weeks away from turning 6 months. And it’s been hitting me all too frequently how rapidly he, and his big sister, are growing up.
You see, he’s hit a bout of teething. Last night before I went to bed, I heard him crying in his room. Not the screaming cry that I loathed 2 months ago when he was still waking 3-4 times each night. This was a cry for help, a cry saying “Momma, I hurt.”
He woke up again early this morning with the same cry. I loaded him with Tylenol and double dosed him on love. As we were sitting there rocking in his room, he and I both half asleep, it hit me. It hit me so hard I started sobbing. Instead of flash-backs, I have flash-forwards. Thoughts of the future.
If you know anything about my husband and I, and our little family, you know that we are… well, not little. We make big babies. A was 8lbs, 22 inches. JD was 9lb 10oz and 21 inches. Instead of newborns, I birth 2 month olds.
With that knowledge, you can only imagine that my 6 month old is quite apparently not the size of a normal 6 month old. Unless of course you happen to know any 6 month olds on steroids.
Three months ago he fit in my arms in a completely different way. Now, he still fits. His head cradled in the bend of my left arm. His feet hang off the right side of the chair now. If he curls up, we fit in the chair comfortably, but the way he crooks his neck to the side now causes him to have this sweet little snore.
Because he’s getting bigger.
He’s growing up.
As he lay there last night in my arms, milk drunk, he flitted open his eyes, gave a soft smile and then fell back asleep. I live for these moments.
For many reasons we’ve decided that we’re done. Two kids is more than enough for us. Obviously God ultimately can control that and He can decide that our plan does not coincide with His plans for us. But for our own sanity, we’ve decided not to let this one up to fate.
That being said, I know all too well that JD will be my last baby. My second baby. But my last. He will be the last one to need me. REALLY need me.
My toddler is now fairly independent. She does a lot on her own. Sure, she still needs my help, my love and guidance. But she doesn’t need me all the time anymore. As she ages, she needs me less and less.
There are days when I dream about how wonderful it will be to have 2 kids who can get up on their own in the morning, who can pour their own cereal, feed themselves. There are times when I look at the land mines of laundry throughout my house and think how awesome it will be when they can load the washer, fold and put away their own clothes. Sometime in the very distant future my basement won’t look like we’re planning for an apocalypse by the stockpile of diapers we have, because y’all know how fun it is to run out of diapers in the middle of the night. I fantasize about the day that I will be able to just focus on myself and what my goals are in life, to be able to spend more time writing. To take a full day to lounge in my pjs, drink coffee and read a book cover to cover. The day I finally lose the baggy sleepy eyes will be a day worth celebrating.
But the reality is, that when that day comes, when all of those things are my reality again, my babies will be grown up. They will have moved on with their own lives. Anyone will admit that they always will need their momma. But as you grow it seems you need your momma less and less. There will be a time when my baby doesn’t need me at 10pm because his gums are hurting, and all he wants is to be cradled in my arms, his belly to my belly, the reassurance of sweet kisses on his forehead.
He will be grown one day too. He may even have babies of his own, then he will need a different kind of help, possibly in the form of a grandma wanting to love on and cuddle her grand babies. But he won’t need me to cradle him anymore. He will have other things that comfort him, too. Right now, it’s me, and only me.
We joke about how he is a “momma’s boy”. He totally is. I love that he is, even though I do want him to grow and be independent of me. But for right now, I relish in these sweet moments. I will happily lose sleep for him when he is in pain. I will willingly stay up all night with my daughter when she gets sick. The night before both of their weddings I will be up praying over them. I will never stop praying for them.
The days are long and hard right now. Whoever said ‘parenting is the hardest job you will ever do’, was right. They were more than right. Sleep is a long lost friend of mine, but I know we will reunite one day. Because today, at this point, my babies NEED me. They don’t need anyone else, but me. So although I may not be 100% put together, there may be laundry on my floor, and it may be a long time before I can actually have a clean house free of toys in every nook and cranny, I have them. The beautiful little blessings God has called me to love on.
And for now, that’s good enough.