From 2011, though the feelings are quite the same in my heart...
I had a pregnancy scare.
I'm not. No baby.
And I realized, "Whew? I am relieved? I am relieved! When did thathappen?"
When did I cross over to this side of parenting? I am... content. I am content to be a family of 5 with no future children on the horizon.
No more babies?
No more babies.
No more sleepy nursing nuzzles at 2 am while the family sleeps in my bed all jumbled in tangles of limbs and blankets.
Strollers and car seats and pacifiers and slings are all packed. I have even given some away. When a woman walked off with my exersaucer at last year's garage sale, I reasoned that I could always buy another one, if the need should arise.
The need won't arise.
I've known this. I've KNOWN this, for many, many years. Patrick has made it crystal clear that our family is FIVE and that is all that we can afford: financially and emotionally. I agree. I DO. I always have.
I held that thought. That dream. That vision that surprises happen and life doesn't usually follow our plans. "We'll see...." I thought in my mind. Many, many times...
This year has allowed me freedom from the physical needs that little ones require. Freedom to sit and read. Freedom to visit with friends in the evening without worry about schedules and naps and the encumbering requirements that encompass parenting an infant. Freedom to think of a future for myself without including "and baby/child" after every scenario.
It's kind of.... nice.
It's nice like the day after Christmas is nice. Bittersweet, full of fresh memories that you desperately attempt to cling to, knowing that the pictures and words won't EVER fully capture the magic of the moment.
It's nice like coming home after a much-anticipated and extremely enjoyed vacation; You're exhausted and sunburnt, with overflowing luggage and tons of laundry to wash. You're wistful that it was over so very, very quickly but glad to be home to start living everyday life again, with hopes of another adventure on the horizon. Yet, you wonder if anytrip will ever be as magical as that special vacation most definitely was.
There's an ache in my heart at letting go of this period in our lives. There will always be tears that can be shed in a moment of silence... Because raising our babies and toddlers was so incredibly special for me that I can't fathom what my life will be like with 10, 15, 20 years of space between It and where I live and breathe right now. Will I be able to remember the sweetness of their small hands in mine? The way his hair smelled after the sprinklers and grass and sunshine were stirred up into those golden curls? Will I truly remember the feel of a sleeping baby on my chest? Warm and trusting, with no desires besides my love?
Sigh... I think I need some chocolate for breakfast. Chocolate, coffee and a good cry...