Lately I’ve been getting caught in a rabbit hole. I end up spending hours watching old video clips of my kids when they were babies and toddlers.
I laugh at the videos we took of my daughter trying to say the word duck, when her d came out like an f.
I giggle at how my son would sing and dance his way through The Wiggles and how Big Red Car became the most played song in our home for a good six months.
My heart melts when I hear their tiny little voices and remember their round little faces.
I miss my kids when they were babies. I miss the warmth of their bodies against mine. I miss the way they would settle into my arms when I rocked them in the darkness of their room. I miss the sweet, powdery smell of the tops of their delicate little heads.
I look at the old snapshots and video clips and I can barely remember those moments.
They flew by in the blink of an eye and I’m not sure if I appreciated them fully when I had them.
Was I too caught up in the little details of it all?
I might have worried too much about the importance of sleep routines to appreciate the beauty of a baby sleeping soundly on my chest, their soft little faces buried deep and the warmth of their breath on my neck.
It’s possible that I spent too much time focused on the length of time she spent nursing at each breast of the amount of formula he was taking in at each feed to enjoy the feeling of nourishing my babies.
I wasted a lot of time questioning and worrying.
I would do anything to go back to those days. To rock that baby again, to smell their sweet scent, to feel them sigh and sink in to my body, knowing they were at peace in their mother’s arms.
I love babies.
I miss my babies.
But as much as I long for those days, I know they are over.
We have moved on to a new stage.
I’m no longer spending time googling about nap schedules and researching sippy cups, I'm reading articles about puberty and how I can help with math homework.
We have moved on and though I loved those moments with every inch of my soul, I don’t want to go back.
There is a different kind of beauty to be found in our days now.
I love cuddling in bed with my kids, each of us reading our own book because now they can read to themselves. I love that they can pour their own milk into their cereal and that we can spontaneously decide to go out for an afternoon without having to factor in naps.
I’m starting to think seriously about retirement and paying for my children’s University education.
My heart knows that my family is complete.
I know that soon we are heading into a new stage, a stage of hormones and drivers licenses and I’m scared. I’m terrified actually. But I have enough faith in my parenting that I think we will get through it without too many bruises.
And I know enough about parenting to know that I don’t want to be dealing with a toddler while I’m trying to cope with teenagers.
So the time has come to say goodbye to the baby days, to rid our home of all the playpens and strollers that have been hanging around wondering if they may be pulled off the shelf again.
I’m sad but I’m ready.
But, let it be known that if you have a baby that might need a cuddle I have both hands raised in the air. I will gladly come and rock your baby while you take a nap, pour yourself into a hot shower or just sit quietly by yourself in a coffee shop.
I promise I won’t waste a second of it worrying. I will sit back and relish in the absolute miracle of a baby.
So please don’t hesitate to call me. You may even be doing me a favour.