As I sit here typing this, I am listening to Miss Vee — 9 days old — snoring away in squeaks and snorts on my lap. She is a wonderful sleeper, as long as she is held. As she is Baby#4, I feel no resentment at being trapped on a bed, cuddling her while she sleeps — these days will pass all too fast.
Yesterday was the last day I snuggled an 8 day old.
Tomorrow will be the last day I will cuddle a 10 day old.
I am counting down these precious “lasts” one moment at a time, filing them away in my memory to savour when she is older.
All along, I have referred to my bookend children as the Alpha and Omega — today Boy#1 turns 13. Last week marked the beginning of the end of our baby days. Today marks the beginning of our teenage years. When Vee starts her first year of Kindergarten, Boy#1 will be starting his last year of high school.
I refer to my bookend children as the Alpha and Omega.
The marriage of these firsts and lasts tugs at me, reminding me how quickly time passes and how little time we have as parents to hold our children close before they strike out into the world and explore their independence wholly separate of us.
I recall being in my hospital room just hours after Boy#1 was born. My husband was unable to stay with me, due to hospital policy, so from shortly after his birth until visiting hours in the morning I was left alone with this tiny creature. I didn’t know what to do with him — I had no practical experience with babies and, frankly, found him rather terrifying.
None of the baby books had prepared me for feeling scared.
I remember looking at him and picking him up from the bassinet, then walking to the window. I stood there with him, watching the sky lighten as it grew close to daybreak, watching a fine dusting of snow fall on the ground. I looked down at his tiny, homely, squished up newborn face — the kind of face that only a mother could love — and I remember saying, “I don’t know how you work, but I promise you that we will figure this thing out together.”
He was not an easy baby — breastfeeding was a challenge, he never slept, he was an early walker but late talker, and he was a deft hand with child locks. He needed to be held all the time at a time before comfortable baby carriers were easy to find. He spent his first few months only sleeping if he was on our chests.
Those early days and nights lasted forever and I thought we would never make it through, but here we are. Now I know better — these days are fleeting and sift away like sand through my fingers. I don’t want to miss a thing this last time around.
These days are fleeting and sift away like sand through my fingers.
Boy#1 will always bear the lion’s share of the firsts around here — he is my “practice baby”. He is the child on whom we figure things out. Sometimes we’re going to screw up, sometimes we’ll get it right the first time.
He is the baby who made me a mother. Now he is a strong, smart, amazing boy rushing toward adulthood, blazing a trail for his siblings to follow with Miss Vee pulling up the rear.