Our baby turned three this week. I’m trying to wrap my brain around the passage of time- 3 years ago she was born, and in the blink of an eye she’s 3 and telling me what she would like for dinner and which dinosaur is a Stegosaurus. It’s with a sigh of relief (and okay, to be honest, a wee tiny bit of sadness) that we declare the official end of “babyhood” around here. The crib is in the attic, the stroller found a new home, the changing table is being reincarnated into a potting bench in the garage.
So I guess that’s the “rub” of parenthood: they grow up. The 9 months you spend waiting for baby to arrive seem endless- filled with dreams of the future and insane impatience because you have to WAIT SO LONG to get the baby. Then baby is here and someone hits the fast forward button on your life. Our oldest is only 7 and I literally have to refer back to my journals and scrapbooks to find answers to friends questions of “When the girls were babies and _____ happened, how did you handle it?” You sleep a few hours and it’s time to celebrate their 1st birthday, thanking the powers above that you managed to somehow (although you already can’t remember how) get the child through the first 12 months successfully. Phew! Then they’re walking and when you blink it’s time to sign them up for soccer. You spend millions of hours reading Dr. Seuss and Guess How Much I Love You, and then you walk by their room tonight and realize they are sitting up in bed reading Nancy Drew- by themselves. Without You.
It’s amazing and beautiful- watching your children grow and learning who they are and how they will tackle this world. It can be hard to swallow the reality at times though, as you give away the baby clothes and highchairs, that this chapter is done. Mostly it’s RELIEF that babyhood is over- I bid a fond adieu to sippy cups and diapers. Time for new adventures.
Bittersweet. That’s the word I’ve been searching for…
Time to buy a new toddler bike.