Or at least it feels that way. Today is the last day we will have a one year old. A baby. Tomorrow, Baby Bee will be two (at around 3 pm eastern time) and our baby days will be over. They won’t come again.
I love the changes in my girls as they grow. I love watching the Princess curl up and read the books I loved to read as a child. I love having talks with her that are more grown up and less little girlish. I love listening in to Littlebit’s playtime as she puts her toys through the paces of her imagination. I love when Baby Bee hops down the stairs, holding onto to one of my hands and the railing and proclaiming “hop” with every step. I love it all.
But, damn it, they’re growing up makes me so sad.
A few months ago, I told Big Daddy that I had never managed my life beyond little kids. Ths time, right now, with my three girls (and two little people under the age of five) is how I imainged our life. I stamped “..and they lived happily ever after” on us on this chapter of our imagined future and I don’t know what comes next.
I’ve loved being the mother of little ones. I love snuggling up with a tiny little body as they sleep. I love wobbly steps. I love the dog eared board books (Guess how much I love you? Oh, I don’t think I could guess that.) I love the block towers and pretending to unlock round little tummies with brightly colored plastic keys. I love kissing toes so tiny they seem impossible. I love holding knobbly knees in my hand and patting little tiny bums that are no bigger than my hand.
It’s hard to consider that after so many years of waiting and longing, that there are no more babies to mold onto my shoulder as they sleep, or to make adorable o-shaped lips at me as they sleep. That rolling and crawling and staggering first steps are over now. We’ve passed that way and won’t be passing back with babies of our own.
Of course, there’s still so much fun to have. Places to go and things to do. Watching my girls develop and evolve is exciting too. I don’t want to make it sound like I don’t like big kids or don’t see how much fun the next 20 years will bring us as we watch our girls grow from babies to toddlers to children to teenagers to adults (and, hopefully the next 20 years will bring me grand children to hug and love and kiss all over again). I’m looking forward to all of those things, but the tender moments of young childhood are not only sweet, they’re fleeting.
The days are long, they say, but the years are short. Isn’t it so true.
Tomorrow I will celebrate Baby Bee’s birth day with abandon. I will bake a cake. I will remember when she was born. I will kiss her knobbly knees. I will smile until my cheeks hurt. I will soak her in. She is, after all, the last.