Friday, February 7, 2014

Baby Your Baby

I miss this guy. I know, technically he didn't go anywhere. But really, he did. This baby, who peacefully slept on my chest and amazed me with his beautiful lips, he has been gone for a long time. In his place is a wild hooligan who jumps on my bed like its a trampoline and forces everyone to share whatever they are eating with him because he thinks he is starving.

Can you mourn someone who is still here? Because of how much they have grown-up and changed? I don't know if its acceptable, but its something I do. Last night he was restless before bed, and even though I want him to always go to sleep on his own, I picked him up. He had exhausted himself from crying, and as soon as I picked him up he relaxed against me. I laid him against my chest and sat down in his room, rocking him till he fell asleep and staring at his face. I cannot remember how long it has been since he slept on my chest like that, he usually tries to get away if I hug him too tight. I don't remember what it felt like when he was small. Holding a sleeping baby on your chest is literally the best thing in the world, and it should be savored because it is a fleeting moment in time. SAVOR IT PEOPLE, I'M SERIOUS.
If I look really tired in this photo, its because I am. 
I want Witten to be my last baby. Physically and emotionally, I just don't want to do it again. Its a crazy rollercoaster and I cannot get on it and give it my all, I've run out of stamina. Not that I don't like being pregnant, because I do. Not that I don't love having a newborn, because I do. But I cannot do it again. You put your body through so much, and at the end it is worth it, but its hard. I spend the first weeks postpartum with a sense of impending sadness, like the clock is ticking and the odds aren't in my favor. You only get so many minutes in life of snuggling a sweet newborn on your chest before you run out of time. You only get to watch someone take their first steps once. You only get so long before they go off to kindergarten and leave you.

This is my baby now. He is not the same guy he was when he was born. He is tall and skinny, independent and headstrong. He climbs onto the table, he steals cookies from me, he only gives me kisses if I bribe him with a Skittle. He is sweet and crazy, and can cause trouble effortlessly. He is my toddler, he is my wild little man.

The passing of my baby years are bittersweet. There is a small part of me that can look forward to when all of my kids are big enough that we can all go to the movies and not have to wrangle Witten for half of the time. Someday we can all go to Disneyland and I won't have to wait with a baby while everyone else goes on Splash Mountain. Someday they will all be big, someday they will all sit through a meal at a restaurant without trying to get up from the table to play peek-a-boo. Those things will be okay I guess, but they won't be newborn-baby-sleeping-on-your-chest good. Not even close.

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