It’s 3 a.m. and my 11-year-old son is yelling “Throw it to third!” in his sleep. It wakes me, but it doesn’t startle or bother me. I think once you’ve had a baby, you sort of always expect to hear a child in the middle of the night. I’ve come to like it.
When the kids were little, people would say, “Enjoy every moment. They grow up so fast.” I used to black out a little at the “enjoy every moment” part. But snap out of it in time to hear “they grow up so fast.” To which I said, good.
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Because it was hard. Even the pregnancy was hard; I was two weeks past due. At that point the baby wasn’t even kicking, he was knocking. Then the long days, and even longer nights, seemed like an eternal montage of feedings, diapers and twinkly music. And I’d think what in the world is so fast about this?
But as we all learn, that time is so fleeting. And sometimes I wonder if I should have, or even could have, enjoyed it more, because it really is a special time. And there are so many things I miss
I miss being called Mommy. Being called Mom is awesome (minus the eye roll), but I do miss Mommy, and that toddler running toward me, squealing, arms outstretched, face beaming.
I miss those cute little jars of baby food. The sound they make when you open them. The fact you could get a turkey, rice and vegetable flavor. That’s what we need to say to young moms – enjoy it now because it’s the only time in your life your child’s entire meal will come in a jar.
I miss stepping on Cheerios. Finding pacifiers in the sofa. I miss bath toys, hoodie towels and the smell of baby shampoo. And the excitement of adding new Thomas Train track.
I miss Dora the Explorer and I cannot even believe I’m saying that. I miss Clifford and Curious George, the weirdness of the Teletubbies, the music from “Little Einsteins,” and Franklin – who taught us how to have a conscience like no other turtle ever could.
I miss little jumpsuits that zip, tiny shoes that squeak and hats that tie under the chin. And I miss the cheap laughs from a game of peek-a-boo.
I miss holding my kids in my arms and carrying them around on my hip. Pushing them in a stroller and on a swing and rocking them to sleep at night.
And while I don’t miss the sleep deprivation, I do miss hearing them in the middle of the night. And so when I hear my son call out in his sleep, it soothes me. It makes me smile. Those early years did go by so fast, but it’s a time I truly cherish. Anyway, it’s a whole new ballgame now. And I’m enjoying every minute of it.