Already I can see fewer traces of their little toddler selves and more traces of the big boys they’re becoming. I try to embrace each state as it comes, but it’s really hard to let go of the baby stage entirely.
I have to though, cause it’s gone. A five year old is not a baby. We don’t have babies in this family anymore.
G is eight. And tall. And strong. He can almost lift me off the ground–a feat he attempts almost daily. His shoes are only about a size and a half smaller than mine. When I fold laundry, sometimes I get his t-shirts mixed up with mine. Sometimes it makes me laugh, but sometimes it makes me want to cry.
O is six (and a half). At baseball tryouts last week, he made the kid pitch AA team. He throws harder than I can. No more t-ball, no more little boys who run the wrong way around the base path or skip the whole way to first. This year, O will be wearing full catcher’s gear in his games and pitching to kids who are three years older than him. And I’ll sit and watch with my heart in my throat and act like I’m not terrified.
And Q is turning five. He’s finishing his last year of preschool –THE last year of preschool for this family, after eight straight years at our beloved farm school. He’ll be in kindergarten in the Fall and I’ll be home alone all day with no one to talk to and nobody to help me grocery shop. As much as I complain about it now, I’ll miss playing Candy Land every afternoon.
In many ways, I am glad to be out of the chaos and exhaustion of the baby years. We don’t need a stroller anymore, no diaper bags, no high chairs or Moby wraps. I wouldn’t want to go back — the very thought is exhausting. But there were so many lovely parts in the baby stage too: chubby baby thighs and sweet snuggles, tiny little feet and hands, first steps and funny faces and baby talk. It’s hard to believe it’s gone.
I think, though, that what hurts my heart the most is the realization that as they grow, we get closer and closer to the day when my little boys are all bigger than me. When they don’t need me to kiss their boo boos or tuck them into bed or make them a sandwich. When they will probably be able to pick me up and toss me over their shoulders as easily as I can do it to them now.
I’m enjoying this lovely part of our lives when they’re all big enough to do all the fun things we want to do and little enough to still want to do them with Matt and I. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss these babies.