Baby Steps

I love all of my children equally. Each of them has their own wonderful traits and aggravating behaviors that cause me to be amazed as they each grow into their own unique human beings.
That said, I do recognize that I’ve always been more consciously aware of things that happen with The Baby. I’ve spent the last 5 1/2 years exercising my erratic, ADD-addled brain to be more present and to take note of things. It isn’t because I love this boy any more than the rest. I think it is because I recognized this boy, and each milestone associated with him, are flames that will someday be diminished.
He is my last baby. I don’t know if I would have chosen that to be the case. I think I would have loved to try one more pregnancy in order to have a sibling closer to him in age. Maybe one more try for a daughter. The fact is, my body couldn’t tolerate another pregnancy. Hence, the decision was made.
So, I nuzzled against that little bald baby head a little longer and sniffed at his fresh baby skin, knowing that this would be my last baby.
I didn’t rush him to get out of diapers or to give up the sippy cup, because I knew that once the diapers and sippy cups were gone they wouldn’t be back.
I didn’t encourage him to walk early and I am fairly certain am pretty sure I never kicked his legs out from under him as he learned to walk away from me. I only seared the image of those pudgy legs into my brain, knowing they would soon become the long, strong legs of an active boy.
Last year, when we found out that he had missed the cut-off date for kindergarten because he was born four days too late, I rejoiced. I got to keep my baby home with me for another year.
And, today it happened…and I fell apart. And I am so filled with pride and joy and heartbreak as my baby takes one more step.


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