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.