Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye to the year of the baby

Tonight my baby will take his last bottle before bedtime.  We last nursed on Christmas Day.  And now, by planning and by nature, weaning is complete.  I have a big boy now, who instead sits at the table and eats his meals with gusto.  While I am completely enamored with the little person he has become, I am dreading saying goodbye to my baby.

That’s the thing, I’ve figured out, that’s making me so sad about weaning.  It’s not like I loved breastfeeding.  I didn’t mind it, but it also never became a favorite activity of mine.  We had our special moments, like I mentioned in this post.  But mostly I was looking forward to having my body back.  And yet… I have been feeling incredibly sad about it, now that the time has come.  What I realized is, breast and bottle feeding is for babies.  Once you leave that behind, you no longer have a baby.

John pointed out that I worked so damn hard to have this baby.  I wanted him with every fiber of my being.  I poured my heart and soul into the process of making him, growing him, birthing him and caring for him.  And so even though it means I now get to mother the most amazing toddler, I mourn the passing of the baby stage.  I miss it already.

People in supermarkets say, “enjoy this time…they grow too fast.”  I always thought it was trite, but really it is a warning.  The awesome and frustrating thing about parenting is that children are literally changing every day.  I think that’s why it works for me to be a stay at home mom for now.  There is always something new to learn about my son.  He is a beautiful challenge.  Just when I think I’ve got him figured out, he throws me for a loop.  Every time I discover a new favorite expression or goofy game he’s invented, I realize that it’s replaced my last favorite thing about him.  And that now exists only in my memory.

So it’s time to move on, to let go of what’s passed and look forward to what lies ahead.  I’m not much for change, but I’m in the wrong profession to avoid that.  My resolution is to stay in the moment.  To celebrate the present more than I mourn the past.  And so, with both joy and trepidation, I say goodbye to 2012, the year of the baby. 
 Welcome 2013, the year of the toddler.
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2 thoughts on “Goodbye to the year of the baby

  1. theskyandback.com

    Lisa, yes! I feel exactly the same way. Colette is only 5 months, but I am already sad about her growing up so fast. You’re right, there’s nothing we can do but treasure each moment, so that is what I am trying to do. Happy New Year to you and that beautiful toddler-babe of yours!

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