Tomorrow, my little guy will be 18 months old. It's hard to believe!
In that time he's gone from this:
Sometimes I look at him and think he looks like such a big boy. And he is. He weaned (about a month ago), he talks, he feeds himself (with a fork, even!), he reads books, he plays with his big sister. A true big boy indeed.
Today at nap-time he was fussy when I put him down, so I uncharacteristically gave in, picked him up and snuggled for a while. He laid his head on my chest, breathing softly and gazing up at me so content to just be close to mama.
My firstborn son; big boy, yes, but still my little baby.
In the moment, I couldn't help but be reminded that he has less than 4 months left as the baby.
Whether our new little man was coming or not, Benjamin would still turn 22 months in October. But there's something about introducing a new baby into the family that turns the previous baby into more of a 'big kid'. I don't know if it's because they seem so huge once you have a newborn in your arms again or if it forces them to (emotionally) grow up--I suspect it's a little bit of both.
I have tried to be intentional about savoring Benjamin's baby days (because I learned the first time around that babies really don't keep!). I think it was easier to be more laid back because I had been there, done that once before and didn't get wigged out about every little thing. This time, I've nursed more, snuggled more, played more (not just with Benjamin--with Katie too!), taken more time to just really focus on enjoying my children.
But here we are again. Three and a half months before we welcome another baby into the family, reality has hit and I'm faced with the truth that, Lord willing, my second child, too, is going to grow up on me.
The soft, sweet chubby cheeks I have to wipe down after every meal and snack will eventually be scruffy. The eyes that gaze up at me with a sweet smile will one day look down at me instead. Those sweet, rosy lips will one day kiss a bride instead of a mama.
The baby boy who I love so much will grow up into a big man who I love so much.
That's why we have babies in the first place, right? Not because they're cuddly and sweet--but because they grow up. They become pastors who lead whole bodies of believers, politicians who work towards a society in submission to the laws of God. They become daddies who lead their own children, and Christ's Kingdom is advanced through the generations.
It's an excellent reminder and a goal to reach for as we raise our babies, day-in and day-out laying down our lives for their benefit.
Nonetheless, I know that one day I will look back and, no matter how wonderful my adult children are, I'll miss oh-so-much the soft cheeks, chubby legs, and sweet rosy lips. So for now, I'll do my best to savor each giggle, snuggle, and kiss--from my big girl and my baby boy.
And once my baby boy isn't the baby boy anymore, I'll do my best to, by God's grace, relish in the joy of mothering all three.