Today was rough. I had a long six hour day of breaking up fights between three year olds, while trying desperately to enrich them in some way. It was accompanied by a blinding migraine and a broken AC in my room. I chugged through, went and ate dinner and riding home in the darkness had this epiphany. “When I get home,” I thought, “I can go to sleep and sleep the whole night. Haddie won’t wake me up tonight!”
It was the first moment I had taken the time to appreciate her sleeping through the night, a feat she has accomplished and practiced for about 4 months now. That’s just how busy life is! I hadn’t even soaked up the fact that I could get a full night’s rest.
But something funny happened.
Just as I closed my eyes to savor what that would feel like I was overcome with this incredible fear of change. There is so much good in a milestone like sleeping through the night, and there is also such a bittersweet feeling. Makes me think of all the other things that change as a child grows, and how it both warms & breaks the heart…Such as:
Your baby sleeps through the night. Pro- No more waking up at 12:00, 1:00, 1:30, 3:00, 3:30 and so on stumbling in the dark to pull her from her pack n play. No more giving up and allowing her to crash the party and just sleep in between Dad and I. No more awkward shuffling, hoping not to disturb her rest. No more stepping on breast pads, noticing poopy diapers or falling asleep with a baby attached. Con- No more falling asleep with a baby attached. I mean, c’mon, is there really anything better than having your baby eat till the point of contentedness and slowing drifting off while nursing? Is there anything in the world sweeter than moving them into the crook of your arms so that you can snuggle in the still of the night? No more will I be able to watch your little fingers around mine, or play with your hair while you nurse. You are big now, half grown it feels like. All the way across the house.
Your baby can eat what you eat! Pro- That’s great! No more baby food stains, carrots in the hair, or green peas on the floor. No more bottle prepping, pump part washing, or midnight warming sessions. No more middle of the night feedings, and you aren’t a slave to your baby anymore. Con- You aren’t a slave to your baby anymore. Think about it. You, at this one stage of her life were all she needed. No cheeseburger, puree, or stolen coke from Nana could truly give her what she needed. Yes, it was hard. It was grueling really, but you. were. everything. & now? Now you are something to pass the time, a last ditch effort to calm her down enough for bed, a comfort for a fall. It’s hard watching her grow up.
Your baby can fit into those cute “big kid” clothes you bought! Pro- Well, finally! She is big enough for the dozens of cute shoes, hair accessories and clothes that you looked at and thought, “Just gotta have them!” How wonderful! How cute she will be! Con- There was a time where her onesies fit in Daddy’s hand, and so did her little head, cradled there so tenderly. There was a time none of her shoes fit and everything swallowed her. Now you are packing up tiny newborn sweaters, and rompers that were barely there and wondering, reminiscing, “Where did all the time go?”
It’s hard, watching them turn into your dreams. Big, strong, capable children that melt your heart. Independent, fun loving, strong willed kids that take your breath away with how fast they grow. It’s just a little reminder to my heart to be still, and enjoy. Cherish and savor everything because time is fleeting. If you don’t think that now, you will one day. One day you baby will say something that floors you, something wise and wonderful and you will think, “Wow, they are so grown.” & more importantly you will think, “How worth it. How wonderfully and perfectly worth it raising them was.” All the pain, all the heartache, is just joy. Incomparable joy.