A trip down memory lane is so bittersweet. I took one yesterday and for as many smiles as it brought to my face, it sure did make my gut clench up and my chest tighten a lot as well. Our wonderful new sitter, Nicole, sent me this picture of Jack-- he's smiling and looking so much like Chad that I got all worked up with excitement:
For some reason, this made me click through ALL of Max's pictures as well- starting with his birth. I couldn't believe how precious that little man was... is... has always been.
I really love his age and stage right now- I enjoy all my time with him and laugh over things he does and says until my sides hurt- BUT I really loved the stage before this... and the one before that one, and the one before that. And I'll never get them back.
Not to mention that it went way too fast. I'm not ready for him to be done being a one- I'm not even ready for him to be done being a baby.
He sleeps in a big boy bed and it's time to potty train- and that darn passy needs to disappear, otherwise his classmates will surely make fun of him when he shows up for 8th grade in diapers with matching passies... but I don't wanna! I want to keep him just like this- but with the ability to rewind too.
The other night, after complaining about having to wake up and feed the J-man multiple times a night (he's going backwards... instead of 6.5 hour sleep stretches, he prefers 4-- brutal!), Chad pointed out how great Max was- goes to bed around 8:30, and we don't see him again until around 7:30- at which time he can get out of his own bed and doesn't need to be fed immediately. That's nice, right?
BUT that means he's not a baby. That means he's not in a crib. That means he's going to go to college soon, and then meet a lovely girl and marry her and forget about me.
And I'm pretty sure his fingers won't be chubby then. And he probably won't let me "kiss his face off" or run up and hug my legs so tight that I can't move just because he's overcome with love for me.
What happens when he doesn't want me to hold him anymore? Or he says everything correctly? What happens when going to the store with me isn't the most fun he's ever had? And what if he doesn't want me to read him books anymore?
But on the other hand, these 23+ months have been AH-mazing. More than amazing- there isn't a word that properly communicates the wonderfulness of it. So I'm sure it's going to keep getting better and better- because I do just love him more and more each day.
But I just want both- I want to have my cake and eat it too- I want him as a baby and a toddler and a big boy.
I guess I'll just have to relish every second- not wish anything away, not even the hard stuff. I guess I'll have to take more trips down memory lane, and look forward to the ages and stages to come.
But more than anything, as I hold my sweet baby Jack who's learning to smile, and chase my big boy Max who's mastering the art of onery-ness and love, and watch Gabe walk into the 3rd grade, I'll just have to beam with glee- because I have the BEST job in the world-- I'm a mom.
And my heart is so full that it canNOT be contained in this chest of mine. Thank you Lord for these blessings- thank you for these ages and stages- impress each of them on my heart and allow them to shape me into the woman you've created me to be.