I remember when we brought my son home, he had the squishiest face, the most delicious chin, the chubbiest thighs and the most beautiful brown eyes that had every looked at me. He was the most precious thing I had ever held, touched or seen.
I remember his “clingy” phase of not wanting anyone else but me. I was so exhausted, but he was so happy to just have me with him. I remember his first days of preschool and the crying fits he had when I left and repeated to him over and over, “Mommy always comes back.” It broke my heart to leave him, but I also knew that it was part of him growing up and that it was time.
It’s funny when you hear that phrase…It’s time. It always means that change is coming… (more…)
It has been magical.
Waking up to the sound of a little person chatting.
Starting my mornings with a little person crawling in to bed with me, smiling at me, kissing me.
Carrying a child on my hips, making little ponytails, spoon feeding.
It’s been wonderful to watch the world through tiny eyes.
Eye opening to simply be and sing, laugh or dance on random occasions.
Eskimo kisses, random hugging, silly phrases, chasing and tickling.
It has been freeing to lie on the floor playing with toys; to walk down the streets filled with our fantasies.
Kissing dolls goodnight, searching the house for favorite stuffed animals, driving around singing silly songs.
It’s been heartwarming to be the funniest and smartest person alive, at least in your eyes.
The safest place is no longer exclusively with me.
You are going to school now.
You will spend a big part of the day in someone else’s care.
The world is no longer viewed from within my arm’s length.
Catch length, hug length, hold length.
I hold your hand as I take you to school on your first day.
You’re nervous, and you’re gripping my hand tight.
“Mommy, I’m shy.”
“Don’t worry, the teacher knows you are shy, and she will take good care of you.”
In the class room you spot your favorite activity. Your eyes sparkle with anticipation.
You join two other girls and they immediately start a conversation with you.
Our parting is hasty. You don’t have time for me.
There are colorful shiny papers that demand to be cut and pasted.
Hesitatingly I leave the room.
There are no tears, except maybe in my eyes.
There is no dramatic goodbye, as it should be on a big day like this.
As should be fitting, when you enter into a new era.
Outside I pause in front of the window with your father, hoping to catch your eye so I can wave.
Nothing. You are busy, all consumed with your new environment.
The teacher notices us and taps you on the back. We have to settle with a quick wave from you.
And that’s it.
Just like that my child is all grown.
My day is spent in confusion. I am absent, forgetful, and my eyes are teary.
I have the constant feeling that I’m forgetting something, someone.
At the end of the morning I’m relieved to go and pick you up.
I immediately know that you had a great time. It shows.
As we leave the schoolyard, I watch my oldest while he walks in front of me. He’s all long arms and legs and he is Mr. Cool himself. He is having a vivid conversation with his sister. When did they get so big?
I’m holding your hand. You’re by my side. Close to me. Suddenly you start to pull my hand, you want me to let go. Reluctantly I loose my grip and you run away from me, eager to follow your siblings.
The years I leave behind are truly wonderful.
And I know there is so much more to come.
But I hesitate, I try to hold on to this as long as I can.
Now that I still see traces of that toddler in you.
Now that I can still feel what it was like.
When you were completely mine.
This is an original, first post to World Moms Blog from our new writer in the Netherlands, Mirjam.
The photo used in this post is credited to the author.
A few weeks ago, we celebrated the end of an era. At two months shy of five years old, my youngest finally let go of his overnight pull-ups.
A big deal, I know.
We ceremoniously gathered all the remaining pull-ups and said good-bye to them. Wrapped and waiting for the garbage-man to deliver them to their final resting place, Zachary is proud of this acheivement.
But after 22 years and seven children, this final send-off is bitter-sweet.
Where have all my babies gone? (more…)