Dear last child of mine,
You are the last baby I will hold, the last baby whose soft body I will smell, the last one I will feed and comfort at night. I swear, you were just born last week and look at you now–three and half years old, ruling the house with your cuteness and tantrums, like the absolute star that you are.
It went by too fast.
I know I complain a lot. I know I’ve said (in my head) “grow up already” so many times. I know I have also hated the baby stage–that mind-numbing, utterly boring ‘goo goo, gah gah’ phase that can drive even the strongest of minds over the edge into a raging insanity.
I’ve said: “never again, this is my last” in an exhausted determination, and I have longed for the day I would actually feel human again and get a little bit of my old life back.
But now that it’s happened, now that you are a bit older and need me a little bit less, now that the reality has sunk in that you are my last–I can’t help but feel sad.
I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. I remember every single thing about your little ugly face, your skinny toes, and fingers, how you cried, how you were too cold and couldn’t keep your body temperature up so they had to take you away from me.
I remember trying to survive. I remember the pain and all the tears. I remember how I struggled, how hard it was to cope with having two babies at once, and how I counted the days that you would move up the ‘stages’ ladder and become less and less of a baby.
But I miss my baby–I miss you.
And I am so sorry I did not realize at the time that despite the difficulties, this was just a phase and that it would pass. I am sorry I did not enjoy you more. I am sorry I wished it away far too often and far too soon.
I am sorry I did not take you to any ‘swimming with babies’ classes, or ‘baby yoga’ classes or ‘sensory classes’, or anywhere for that matter like I did with your big sister.
Not because they are actually any good–truth is they are utterly pointless, but I am sorry because maybe if I had done that, time wouldn’t have gone by so fast–after all, they say that time moves slowly when you are suffering and boy, are those classes annoying…
I’m kind of obsessed with snuggling with you right now and sniffing the end of that baby scent which you somehow still have. I’m pretty sure you kept this magic going on especially for me–so thank you, my love, I’m so grateful for that.
I know I can’t turn back the hands of time and that I have to accept that you are my last.
But I also know that as we enter a new chapter in our story, I plan to savor each and every page as much as I can, and never forget that despite all the struggles and regrets–you are always going to be my baby.
This post originally appeared on TovaLeigh.com. It has been reprinted with permission.