You’re going to laugh at me.
This morning, I woke up early. (No, that’s not the funny part. Don’t laugh yet!) I normally sleep until Mercy wakes up, since it’s hard to get out of bed with a baby draped over my lap, you know? But this morning I woke up worrying about something, so I snuck out of bed and made coffee. The boys weren’t even awake yet! My house was quiet like my favorite 11:00pm quiet, only the sun was shining.
I heard footsteps upstairs just as the coffee finished brewing, so I darted back in the bedroom to hide with my cup of coffee.
I settled back in bed with coffee and a book. Mercy woke up and climbed back in my lap to nurse. As she did, I caught a whiff of her rank, wet diaper from nursing all night, and I had a sudden pang of nostalgia and sadness. I wondered if it would be the last time I noticed that smell, combined with a warm, snuggly baby in my bed. I would miss it, I realized… a scent marking this cozy time of motherhood.
Now is when I thought you’d laugh.
I knew I’d be sad about all the other lasts. The last time teaching a baby to wave bye-bye, to blow kisses, or how a cow says “Mooooo!” The last time I get open-mouthed, slobbery baby kisses, or laugh at a baby just discovering her belly button. The last time I cheer wildly… irrationally excited about first steps… and watch siblings get just as ridiculously excited. “MOM!!! Come here quick — Mercy is STANDING UP!” A tiny miracle that — watching life unfold.
Last shared peach, sticky juice trickling down baby’s chin and Mommy’s arm.
Last time watching a toddler’s face light up as the fireflies blink on and off, and watch them chase fireflies in erratic patterns around the dusky front yard.
Last time hearing a toddler giggle with delight as I place a new brother or sister in their arms.
How can I be done, having babies?
No, never quote me on this, because I have an incredible weakness for the tiny ones, and you just never know…
But I do know that my growing-up children need me, and it seems like the bigger they get the more they need. I don’t know how to be a grown-up Mommy. Emotions from an almost 10 year old girl are way more difficult to handle that the emotions spewing from a 3 month old that just wants to tuck in and nurse.
How in the world do I take care of big kids?!
I wish I could pause time right now. I’m not looking for later on… when things get easier. (My guess is that’s a myth!) My life is perfect right now. I have a baby, my favorite thing in the whole world, and my older kids are independent, helpful, and still think I hung the moon. They still hold me hand, tell me I’m the best mommy EVER, and ask me to tuck them in bed at night. Half of them still scramble to sit in my lap when I sit for a movie.
So yeah, this morning, with a warm, stinky baby draped across my lap, I had a moment. I watched my sleeping girl… memorizing her. Freezing this moment in time. Her chubby fingers twitching in sleep, the ones that like to pat my face and poke my nose. Damp curls, growing longer by the day. Perfect, healthy skin on that beautiful face, her adorable lips and tongue still making unconscious sucking patterns.
Oh heavens, I’m going to miss this.
P.S. I also sniffled a little as I tucked Zach’s outgrown fleece hoodie into a give-away bag. I have no more boys to save clothes for! It’s been a rough day for Mama. *serious bawling going on over here…*