Recently Liam and I had a morning to ourselves. It was long overdue. A few weeks ago I brought him to church while H stayed home with grandpa. I noticed an immediate change in Liam's temperament. Even before we were out of the driveway, he was calm, smiling and...chatty! So when the opportunity to have H in daycare and keep Liam with me presented itself, I was glad to accept.
I found myself in a small grocery store where I rarely shop these days. Although it is nearby, I visit this particular location only once or twice each year. Pushing my very big 23 month old down the aisles and watching him bask in my undivided attention, I was reminded of a summer day 4 1/2 years ago when I was secretly pregnant. Not a soul but my RE knew. I craved SpaghettiOs and came to this very store. I distinctly remember pushing my cart up to the shelf and using my forearm to clear the cans into my basket. I was about seven weeks along. Each day brought a different symptom and a million questions wrapped around one thousand dreams of the future with my child. Was I really having a baby? I was going to be a ....what? A mom? How could this really be happening?
The one thought that I never entertained during these trips was that the child growing in me would one day be a big brother. I looked at Liam in the cart and kissed his beautiful face. He is my last baby and a baby no more. I want to freeze these moments and never let go of his sweet, soft hand. I want to be the one he snuggles against as he works his pacifier. I want to feel his sweet body curled in sleep against me. But he is ready to be a big boy. He will soon be too large to fit in the shopping cart seat. He doesn't eat baby or toddler food. Liam prefers to drink from a straw instead of sippy cup. He says many words and becomes more articulate everyday. Most moms rejoice in these milestones. I tuck them away with pride knowing I can whip them out when the pediatrician and preschool directors inquire but also mourning the days that are no more.
It seems like the babies I waited for my whole life came and left before I could figure out how to be a good mom to them. Now they are messy and loud, preferring to play with each other or remote control vehicles rather than sit on my lap. Henry and Liam give me a hard time about everything. They won't even eat SpaghettiOs.