Remember when you were little, and you saw someone you hadn’t seen for ages, and they almost always said, ‘my how you’ve grown!’ And it was always said with such approval, that you couldn’t help but be proud, even if growing is something that all the kids were doing.
And now you have kids on your own, and people say the same things about them, and once again you’re overwhelmed by an insane amount of achievement for giving birth to people that get taller. And the comments are even more important somehow, because you don’t often notice the change yourself (unless they put on a pair of shorts that suddenly appears underwear like in nature), and it’s good to have the validation that they are growing up.
Then there are other times you just look at your kids, and you think, ‘when did you grow up?’ ‘When did that happen?’ And you notice all kinds of things; that their face has lost their chubbiness, or that they suddenly eat more now, or that they are too old for certain behaviours. It’s like they got to bed as baby, and wake up a toddler. Or a preschooler. Or a pre-adolescent. And you’re left kind of nervous because the game changed a little when you didn’t notice, but also so proud and excited, because things just got cooler.
They don’t tell you, when they hand you that newborn baby that that person will continue to amaze you for the rest of your life. That that moment of being awestruck, happens again and again and again. And you fall in love again, and again, and again.
My littlest girl is growing up. So much so that typing ‘my baby’ seemed wrong. Because she’s not a baby any more. She’s not a toddler. She’s a little girl.
She’s getting ready for kindy, which has been a hard road, and will probably still be a little bumpy, but she’s getting there. This term she has overcome the anxiety of swimming lessons, and is now flying through them and loving every Tuesday because of it. She’s done her pre-entry days for preschool with many tears from both of us, but by the end of the five sessions, she could separate
well easier. Enough to give me hope for next year.
She’s dropping her day sleeps. Has been for a while now, but they are far less necessary these days. We’ve done well to still be having them at almost four and a half, I know that. I’m ok with her not having them. But it’s just proof she’s not a baby any more.
She has her own personality, and we see it more and more every day. She’s got an opinion on things; lots of things, and she’s not afraid to share it with me. She’s a little bit wild, which is new. Occasionally I see glimpses of that and think ‘where did that come from?!’ She’s shy and she’s not; I’m learning she is much more conversant if I’m not there. It makes me wonder if I hold her back, keep her too close. Because she’s the littlest one.
The less little, littlest one.
Sometimes I feel guilty for how long it took me to love her, but now I know I love her more every day.
I love them all more every day. I just can’t help it.
Every now and then, someone asks me if we would have more kids and I always answer no. Not because four is enough, or too many, or because some days it’s stupidly hard; but always because as much as I loved having little babies, I’m done with that now. I’m excited about what’s next. I can’t wait to see them grow; taller and stronger and wiser, and more amazing every day. Even on the hard days. And the impossible days. And the days when it would be so much easier to have them as a compliant little babies snuggled into my chest.
I remember when I was little and people would say, ‘my how you’ve grown!’
Now I’m the one saying it, and it’s so just so much better.
Do you love having little babies?
Or are you looking forward to what’s to come?