Tonight I got really sad all of a sudden because my children are getting SO big, SO fast, that it’s jarring. It takes a substantial amount of something to truly jar me. I stood in our darkened living room, watching my boys, and tears spilled onto my cheeks as I whispered to my husband, “Asher doesn’t need his blanket anymore.”
He used to need it.
I am jarred.
I know that a lot of mothers who are also writers seem to go on and on about the beauty and sadness that comes with seeing your children grow up. This post is just one among thousands like it. In fact, I wrote one almost exactly like this one, almost exactly one year ago, and it still makes me cry when I read it. (If you want to read it, click here.)
Except that, as I pulled my toddler into my lap tonight to rock and sing to her before I tucked her into bed, her legs dragged farther down than last week. And as I stroked her hair and talked to her softly, she talked to me back. She answered my questions, my mindless questions, the ones I apparently ask every night without thinking.
“Pepper, are you sleepy?”
“No. Pepper not sweepy.”
“Do you want to sing a song?”
“Yes! Sing a song! Siiiiiiiilent night, hoooooooly night … “
She used to be so tiny. Now she could climb out of her crib, if she wanted to. She climbed out of the bath tub today. I walked away for a minute, heard a THUMP, and there she was, dripping wet in the hallway.
“I get out?” she said.
“Yep … you got out.” Bath time was over.
My oldest child is going to be taller than me one day. Much taller. I know this because he is 6 years old and the top of his head is boob-high already. He is all arms and legs.
He can read. I catch him peeking over my shoulder trying to catch a glimpse of what I’m working on.
He gets my jokes.
He used to scream unintelligibly when I asked him to put his pajamas on, and now he’s talking about the anatomy of bugs and asking me questions about space travel.
I used to know the answers to all of his questions.
I don’t anymore.
My middle child was so attached to his green blanket that he wore it to pieces and we had to replace it with a brown one. We fretted over how long he would drag it around.
Then, suddenly, he stopped. And I cried. I CRIED ABOUT MY CHILD GROWING OUT OF A HABIT THAT DROVE THE WHOLE FAMILY CRAZY.
It’s so weird, this motherhood thing. The things that cause me pain can also bring me great joy, and the things that irritate the ever-loving shit out of me are also sorely missed when they stop.
I stepped over my children to make my way out of the living room tonight, wiping the tears from my cheeks. I stopped for a moment and leaned down to tell Asher goodnight. He smiled up at me, dimples cracking.
We whispered back and forth for a moment, saying our good-nights, and then he paused.
“Mommy? Can you get me my blanket?”
Yes, I most certainly can.