Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Gone, Baby Gone

And there he goes. With a few simple steps my Benny has walked right out of babyhood. It all happened so fast. Two or three steps in between mommy and daddy quickly turned into a walk across the living room the next day. And that is not the only change. Ben has all but weened himself from breastfeeding, save for morning and bedtime when I practically have to force-breastfeed him just to make sure he is getting enough milk in combination with what he gets during the day. He eats crackers too. He finally has enough teeth where I can give him little bits of "real" food, and he stuffs it in his face with his chubby little hands like it was baby crack. But wait, there is more. Just recently I started to put him in his crib when he is drowsy, but awake, so he can get himself to sleep. And it is working. He can fall asleep, without me.
These are all amazing, positive signs that I have a healthy, normal, happy baby and I'm thrilled. Really, I am. But still, there is a tightening in my stomach, a lump in my throat, an aching in my heart. Do I really miss walking around in his bedroom for a half an hour, cradling him in my arms, bouncing him up and down, arms burning, back aching, shoulders tight? No. Do I miss running back into his room a half an hour later to do the same thing all over again? No. Do I miss sore, breastfeeding boobs, middle of the night feedings, and nursing pads? No. Do I miss the alone time, staring into the peaceful, angelic face of my baby, in his quiet, cozy room? Yes. Do my arms suddenly feel empty at night? Yes.
I feel so silly. What is wrong with me? Does every mother feel this way? I honestly can't remember this bittersweet feeling with Joey and Tommy. I was completely and totally thrilled with each little achievement. I wished for days when the boys would be bigger so we could do this or that. I wanted my boys to hurry and grow up. But now, seeing how fast it actually goes, I just want to savour every part of Ben's babyhood. And it is going too fast.
Yet, I find myself jumping up and down, clapping my hands, and squealing with excitement, "Look boys! Look at Benny walking! Good job, Ben! Todd, did you see that? Yea, Ben!!!". And he beams back at me. He is so proud of himself. And I am proud of him, too. And, I really am excited. I am thrilled. Really, I am.


Just look how happy it makes him.

23 comments:

Brittany said...

Don't feel silly! I really do think every mother goes through it! I was only able to breastfeed Matthew for three months and I still felt sad and empty when he stopped. I can't imagine how you feel with feeding him for so long! (I blame the hormones!)

He is so cute, btw! :)

Wright said...

What a wonderful post. And of course you're not silly. With each step your baby inches away just a bit and that has to make a mother feel sad. But remember he'll always come running back for Mommy. And you'll always be there.

Chrissy said...

What a happy, sad time. It is tough to want to cheer your child on to growing up and at the same time keep the sweet things about them being small.

Your writing is just beautiful, by the way. Keep it up!

girlymom said...

It must be the fact that you have been through it before and know how fast it goes. I look at my 6 year old and wonder where those years went. I now have a 4 month old and find myself baby talking more, sitting with her for that extra minute more, and simply trying to savor every smile, every milestone. Not that I didn't with the first children, but like you said...so anxious for them to grow up and see all the new things they will do that I think I overlooked what they were already doing. Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy. I am right there with ya! You word the emotions so beautifully.
Congrats to BEN on his newest achievements!

4 little men said...

Oh he is absolutely adorable! I know exactly how you feel... it's so wonderful to watch the grown and learn but it can be so hard to let go of the little baby that you will never have again. So bittersweet!

Is he your last baby? If so maybe that's why it's so much harder this time. I'm worried that when I know it's my last I will be a wreck. LOL

Dawn said...

That is such a happy/sad feeling to have your baby growing up. This was a beautiful post- one I'm sure will be wonderful to read many years from now.

wheelsonthebus said...

I don't know if every mother feels this way, but I sure did.

Laura said...

Way to go little man!!! great photos!

Hang in there mommy!!!!

I take so much from your blog - thank you for sharing...Madigan is just a bit behind your little one on this milestone and it is tearing me apart!!!!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

The whole growing up thing is definitely a double-edged sword. It's so fun when they walk . . . but now they don't need you to carry them around all the time.

The last photo? Priceless!

Kathryn said...

4 Little Men- I really don't know if this is the last child for us. I guess that is all up to God. I think I would probably end up with 5 or 6 if it was just up to me. My hubby seems to be getting used to the idea of 4 suddenly. It is quite a dramatic change in attitude for him, and he says he has been praying about it.
I don't know if I am so melancoly because I am nervous he is my last, I am realizing how fast life goes, or if I am just a super hormonal freak. I have always been an emotional person, so I am guessing I'm just a super hormonal freak.
Anywho, thank you all for the supportive comments everyone! :)

Kellan said...

It's age Sweetie. The older you get - the more you appreciate about every single thing in life and that can sometimes make you sad over changes and loss. You are not alone in your sadness - but it does pass - it does!

He is adorable and such a happy baby! Those are sweet pictures. See you soon. Kellan

Kellan said...

This was a beautiful post - BTW!

Nap Warden said...

Wonderful post...Way to walk little guy!

Beck said...

It's funny, the things we miss afterwards... what a sweet little man.

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

Why do they have to go and grow up on us? I love that last picture. He's so darn proud of himself. Yay for the walking Ben. Boo for not being able to take your eyes off of him for one second.

Julie Pippert said...

He did it! What a cutie pie! Look at that proud, happy face!!

MamaGeek said...

Things will NEVER be the same! HE IS ADORABLE!

Glass Half Full said...

What a smile!!!!

Lori

PS When I saw Chrissie Hynde I just stood there with my head down. I didn't know what to do!

melissa said...

I was the same way, mostly because I knew #2 would be my last.

Those are some great walking pictures. You were really lucky to capture the moment like that. How old is Ben now? You gotta watch out for those early walkers...my older one started walking at NINE MONTHS and hasn't stopped moving since...

LaskiGal said...

Well, you read my post, so you know how I feel. I completely feel for you while I cheer for him. Starting out with motherhood a little older, I learned (and was told over and over again) how fast time flies with your children. I try to savor every single moment. You probably realize it because you had two other boys that taught you just how fast it goes . . .

He is SO adorable!!! I'm a baby addict now . . .

painted maypole said...

"fast break"

bwa-ha-ha-ha

bittersweet. I think most moms feel this way, particularly if benny is your last.

love your music today!

the dragonfly said...

My Little Mister (7mos) is on the verge of crawling...I go back and forth between encouraging him (out loud) and screaming "No! You're growing up too fast!" (in my head).

Ben is adorable. He looks so happy and proud to be walking!

Laura McIntyre said...

Congrats there is nothing sweeter than those first steps, maybe the feeding will pick up both my kids stopped alot when they started walking then it picked up again

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson