It happens so quickly – this growing up thing. And it happens so slowly it’s barely noticeable. I mean, it must be both, right? There it is, happening right in front of you, in the everyday, and most of the time you barely realize. But then suddenly you notice:
It’s happened. The slow transition to the next big-ness in life has taken place.
Today it happened while I quietly cleaned up from lunch. Ten minutes in I noticed that my Baby, who used to never be content without my amazing skills of entertaining kids (ha!) at work, had been quietly playing in his favorite household space (our I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-this-so-just-stick-it-on-the-back-porch) on his own. And he was happy and content.
And then I glanced at the clock – 12:34. For months it was pure torture to keep him emotionally okay until his 11:30-12:00 nap. And then one week it suddenly changed. Suddenly it wasn’t the massive meltdown overÂ anythingÂ andÂ everything, but the clock showing “1:00” was the reminder to me that nap time had arrived.
And I don’t hold him. I mean, I do. There are the morning and post-nap cuddles and when he gets hurt or is sad he wants me to pick him up, but he’s not constantly clamoring for me to keep him on my hip while I vacuum or make dinner or clean a bathroom or change the laundry. He’s just as happy (if not more happy) on his own two feet.
And this morning? I kept the door to our backyard wide open and he spent most of his time out there on his own while I made granola and washed dishes and kept the washer and dryer busy. My child, the one who used to scream bloody murder if he lost sight of me, played outside on his own. Without me. For long periods of time.
And it kind of makes my heart hurt as I realize he’s slowly shifting away from his infant stage and becoming more toddler than anything. Oh, I know there’s bit of baby still (like his inability to sleep through the night or the tears that do come with tiredness or his need for mama the minute anything is bothersome), and I know a new babe is coming, but this brief time with this one — it’s coming to a close.
And as much as I wish I could pause time to soak up the last moments of babyhood, I can’t. And I have to remind myself that that’s okay. He’s not meant to remain a baby. He’s meant to grow and mature and become a man and have impact on the people who surround him.
But it does make me want to find the joy in every season and embrace wherever I am. For seasons come and go. Sometimes so quickly.