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Bye Bye Baby

April 12, 2012

I took my four-almost-five year old with me the grocery store today. As he hopped into his booster seat, chirping of this and that, I looked across the back seat to where his older brother usually sits. Piles of books fill the bench seat now, where there was once teething rings, rattle toys and crushed Cheerios.

Ok, there’s still crushed Cheerios. Anyway…

I grumbled about having to buckle the seatbelt for him.

“When are you going to learn to buckle yourself?” I griped.

“When I’m five!” Dimples. Those dimples.

Just a few months more, I thought to myself. And then it struck me.

It’s just a few months more. Our baby days are truly and officially, behind us.

We’re entering a whole new era of school plays and field trips, where there was once just preschool and playgrounds. For the duration of my injured foot, they put themselves to bed and took their baths with no help from me. I could hardly wait for my convalescence to end so I could get back to being needed again.

These days are numbered. Counting down so quickly I can hardly catch my breath. I am eager for this next phase of our lives, yet I dread the loss of my little boys. Tonka trucks and tricycles will be replaced soon enough with iPods and video thingmajiggers that I’m already too uncool to understand.

Little boys rapidly blooming into big boys. And in one blink – they’ll be men.

It’s been enough. I don’t regret a single choice. I don’t regret not “trying for a girl” any more than I regret our decision to wait four years in between. We are just right as we are.

The weight of this transition steals my breath and I wonder how the next one will feel, and if it, too, will feel like it was only five minutes ago when I was waking in the night for a feeding or a nightmare.

I’m already being peppered with questions progressively more difficult. Questions I am not yet ready to answer.

“Are parents actually the tooth fairy?”

“How does the Easter bunny know where we live?”

“When can I drive the car?”

“What’s a virgin?” (I tried, carefully, to explain. As such, the very next remark out of his mouth was: “Oh! So I’m a virgin!” Uh….)

There will be other hard questions, just around the bend, more complicated and awkward than those. The days of fantasy and imagination, for my oldest boy, are fading fast.

And so I try to eat every moment, consume it and breathe it in, making it a part of me that can never be stolen or forgotten. Lord willing, there will one day be wee ones with their daddys’ blue eyes and dimples and I can do it all over again.

But I’ll send them home to their fathers when the hard questions come. It’s only fair.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2012 7:42 pm

    I’m living your future imaginings and it’s wonderful!! My boys-to-men make me so proud everyday and one’s brown-eyed son and daughter and the other’s blue-eyed sons fill my heart to overflowing. I love them, hold them, kiss them, and then send them back ;-)

    • April 12, 2012 8:01 pm

      I know you are, Auntie, and I love the photos of your boy-men They are still boys to me, but the pictures say otherwise…they make wonderful daddies!

  2. April 12, 2012 7:49 pm

    Adelle,
    This is beautiful. My guy will be 3 and a half soon (he’s still 3 for now, I yell at anyone who says he’s almost 4), and in all probability will be my last child. As he helped me blow my nose, and did yoga with me tonight (his favorite pose is warrior of course), I dreamt about the kind of man he will grow to be. I was terrified to be the mother of a boy, but every morning those green eyes smile at me, and I smell that blonde curly hair, I realize it has gone by too fast, and I’ll never get to do this again.

    • April 12, 2012 8:03 pm

      The experts claim it’s nurture, not nature, that creates warriors out of these boys, but I beg to differ! I’m as girly as they come and my progeny couldn’t be more different! Warrior-pose, indeed! Hold on to those moments, and never let go!

  3. April 18, 2012 3:07 pm

    This post brought me to tears. I do find myself sometimes wishing things away and then quickly wanting them back. I try to hard to remember that it goes by so fast. How did my baby girl turn into a tall beautiful almost teenager? Hold them tight for sure. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Bonnie permalink
    April 30, 2012 1:08 am

    Yes. My “little” boy is no longer little, and there are flashes over the course of each day when I can clearly see what a man he may become. I could not be prouder of the man I hope he will become, yet I cling to his childhood as though my life depends on it. I want so much to slow him down and allow him to enjoy it that, even at just turned 2, he gives me THE look…backoff, Mom; I can do it MYself! Sigh…

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