Hey, know what’s bittersweet? Watching a baby turn into a toddler who can no longer be wrapped in blankets like a sweet little burrito, who then refuses to wear a bib because she now realizes no one else at the table is wearing a bib and she’ll be damned if you’re forcing a bib around her neck because NO BIBS!
Yeah. It’s exciting to see these little people grow more independent, and it’s very entertaining watching as they try to imitate the world around them, especially older siblings. You ever seen a two-year-old run? HILARIOUS!
But. It’s also sad–sometimes in that heart-wrenching excruciating pain kind of sad–when they no longer resemble the lumpy baby you delivered, like, it was just yesterday I swear!
It’s strange how I simultaneously long for the days of no more diapers, yet ache for my children to be tiny and in my arms, fully dependent on just me. I love few things like I love a freshly bathed baby swaddled so tightly she believes she’s snug in my belly being rocked to sleep by nothing more than the motion of her mother’s body. But I also love people who can pour their own juice.
Maybe we’re just never satisfied? Maybe it’s just me? Maybe we’re all stuck in this in between limbo, looking back and forward, rarely appreciating the here and now? I know that’s me.
Except for today.
Today we took down our (makeshift, cheap, embarrassing, shut up) bib bag because we don’t need bibs any more. Just like we don’t need blankets made for swaddling, nursing bras, special pillows that strengthen baby’s neck, little mittens for sharp, tiny nails, or the number to our OBGYN on speed dial. Even though those things have been a part of our daily lives for the past 7+ years, we don’t need them today, or any more. Those days are behind us and dammit, it hurts a little. Sometimes a lot. But as I stand in my kitchen, sobbing into a pea-stained “I’m the Little Sister” bib, I overhear my three kids having real conversations: a brother helping a sister figure out something on her iPad, a big sister interpreting a younger sister’s otherwise indecipherable requests, and my heart is happy.
Bibs will soon be replaced with brand name socks, and bedding with celebrity faces instead of flowers. So for now, I’m going to revel in this spot, in this bib-less, unswaddled millisecond that is my family. And be grateful to be here, now.