Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mommies Are Allowed

Piles of crap seem to be boxing me in.  My world is slowly shrinking along with my floor space.  I think I have become a pack-rat in my old age.  Never did I used to shed tears for donating things that we no longer use or need.  However, the birth of my last child has turned me into this hording machine.  I intended to keep only the items that have been through all of my boys and some select ones from the baby that I especially enjoyed with him.  Yet, it seems that I am unable to part with anything.  I have diaper boxes full of clothes all washed and folded and separated by size.  I just can't seem to actually donate them.  Knowing that it is ridiculous is not helping me purge my house of this uselessness.

Hubby, in his infinite wisdom and kindness, brought home a bunch of giant boxes.  He isn't making me throw things out, just pack it up into stackable things to move to the shed.  At least he knows better than to press the issue.  I think the act of packing things up for good will probably turn me into an emotional pile of mush, through no fault of my own.  I guess things really are different with your last baby.  He is almost 8 months old, so I have a lot of stuff to pack up, but he's still a baby, my baby.  I have been fighting the urge to wean him, despite the fact that he bites like a rabid dog. 

My oldest is on the cusp of puberty and we have conversations like regular people, not kiddie conversations.  My middle two are all about "I can do it by myself".  Then, there's the baby.  He's the one that can't get enough of me.  He's still at the stage where I'm his favorite thing in the world.  He's the only one that is happy in my arms for long periods of time.  If I could, I'd probably hold them all day long.  As it is, I can only hold the baby until I need to be doing something else. I do get intermittent spontaneous hugs and kisses from the others.  Well, sparsely from the oldest.  Actually, threats of public displays of affection have persuaded him to do my bidding on many occasions. 

Don't get me wrong, I get all excited when the baby does something new or when his personality comes through.  He is a very joyous baby with the best laugh in the world.  He is on his way to being very mobile and I am thrilled for him.  At the same time, my heart is breaking.  I am well aware of the ridiculousness of this whole thing, but too soon it will be him running to be with his brothers and away from me.  I will soak this all in.  I will enjoy the feel of him in my arms and the look in his eyes when he rubs my cheeks and finds my nose.  It is too soon for him not to be the newborn he was just yesterday.  I look at him now and he's 4x the size he was.  He is his own little person. Yet, I still see the sweet little lump that he was.

I can see that he is going to be hard to let go.  There are 6 years between my first and second child.  It was bittersweet to see him reach all his milestones.  It is still bittersweet to see him grow into this little man.  He is my first baby.  He made me a Mom.  The next two were on top of each other.  They are a handful and I love them dearly.  It was different with them.  There was always something going on and things to do.  I was younger and rushed through it all.  With this one, I'm a bit more settled.  He is four years younger than his closest brother.  He is everyone's baby.  The boys embraced him from the beginning and each have a bond with him that is different than the others.  They are the ones that spoil him, if you can really spoil a baby?

I already miss the infant he was as we head down the road toward toddlerhood.  Oh, but there is so much joy to come.  With each new skill, with each smile of beaming pride, there is joy and love.  With this one, the last one, everyone is enjoying him.  We all have fallen in love with this mild-mannered, sweetheart of a baby.  He is the most laid back of them all.  He is making it easy for us to go GaGa over him.

I am so proud of my boys.  I just knew that there would be jealousy and the like.  I was wrong, so wrong.  They all help without being asked.  They all get joy when they make him smile and they all go nuts when they get him to laugh like only little ones can.  My boys, though rowdy and energetic, are gentle and kind.  I love them all.  Having them the way I did has allowed me to simultaneously bask in the different stages of growing up.  When the middle ones test their boundaries, I see how the oldest one is growing into this peaceful and brilliant young man.  It lets me relax knowing that it will calm down soon enough.  When the oldest is on a hormonal bender (he is at that age), I see the middle two with their cars and trains and tickle fights and remember how sweet he was when he was little.  Then I look at the last one and I remember them all and how different they were and still are.  I can see very clearly how they have always been who they are.  The stubborn one was born that way, as were the sensitive and the lazy.  I look at that little chunky one and try to see who he will be in a year or five.  Then I look again and he is still just a baby.

So, it will probably take me a whole lot longer than necessary to pack up these mountains of baby stuff.  I know that I will be loving it when it's out of my house and not reminding me of how tiny he was.  For now, it will be hard and I will be emotional.  I'm a Mommy darn it, I'm allowed.

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