Why is it that every last moment of motherhood, ever milestone and every joy is also marked with tears?
Today, I send my first baby off to preschool for the first time. He’s ready and miles beyond excited. With unprompted kisses for his sister and a prompted hug and kiss for me, he walked into his classroom for the first time without a second glance back.
I’m left here wondering when my baby got this big.
Labor and birth were just a few months ago, weren’t they? Didn’t I just change his diapers a few weeks ago and nurse him back to sleep 4 times a night?
But now he’s growing. He’s my big
little hard worker man. He’s my rambunctious almost-four-year-old. He’s the joy and the light that he has been since his birth.
As I think back on these years of motherhood, from the moment he made me a mom, it’s been joy and pain intertwined. Joy at the way he smiles and pain seeing the maturity growing in his eyes. Joy as he explores and learns to crawl, walk, jump, skip and run and pain as he inches farther and farther from infant, toddler, and now on to preschooler.
He’s small yet, but I still feel like tomorrow I’ll open my eyes and he’ll be graduating high school.
Somehow in the back of my mind I know these days that make me so weary now, will be over in the blink of an eye.
My boy is off to his very first day of school, and while I know he is beyond prepared for this moment, I’m still not sure I am.
I’m caught yearning for one more snuggle from a newborn, even if I have to catch it at 3am. I’m stuck wishing for a few more clumsy steps taken while clutching my fingers for balance. I’m hoping for just one more mis-pronounced word or even another tantrum. Something to tell me that he’s still got some “baby” left in him.
The years thus far have been beautifully painful. I’m so thankful for each one of them, and as much as it hurts, joyfully looking forward to the years to come.
Motherhood is a beautifully – joyful kind of pain. I must learn to stop blinking.