Babies: Big, small, and real

21 Apr

After putting the kids to bed tonight, Emmanuel woke up three times crying within approximately two hours. Lately he has been sleeping in our bed because he wakes up when we put him in his bed. Tonight I kept putting him in his bed (that is definitely the goal), but after the third waking I laid him down in our bed (little guy is about as picky as The Princess and the Pea).

The final time I was lulling him back to sleep, I sighed inwardly and smiled, thinking how I will be out of this newborn stage before I know it, and I will roll around in my bed and enjoy an entire night of sleep. Ah yes, the newborn stage. Hmm. Newborn?

I knew “the answer,” but at that moment I really realized that Emmanuel is almost five months old. That is way past newborn stage. I know he is developing incredibly each day, but with the lack of sleep and the amount of time I consider myself to be a zombie are significant. I also feel like it was “just yesterday” that we brought him home from the hospital.

This epiphany ignited a light bulb of understanding. I now understand how baby became a term of endearment. When my kids are 25, 35, or 50, I think I will still see them as my little baby. When they become teenagers and roll their eyes and say, “but mom, I’m not a baby anymore!” I will heatedly object their argument of maturity. You sure keep me awake at night like a baby does!

Why is it so hard to advance past the baby stage? Why are we stuck there as parents? I think part of it is that development happens at lightening speed, and we aren’t used to seeing things move so fast. Maybe that is why I call Hadassah my baby still, or respond with “Yes, baby?” When she inquires, “Mama?”

“For always and forever, my baby (babies!) you will be!”

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